Belfast Telegraph

Big-hearted store boss makes Christmas for OAP who lost purse

By David Young

The yuletide spirit was alive and well when a kind-hearted store manager went beyond the call of duty to help a pensioner who had lost her purse while doing her Christmas shopping.

The pensioner, known only as Freda, is a friend of east Belfast man Andy McCormick.

Andy took to Facebook to pay tribute to the unidentified Marks and Spencer manager. "A close friend of my granny's went to Forestside to do her Christmas shopping in M&S," wrote Andy.

"When she went to pay for her shop she realised that she had dropped her purse when paying for the taxi.

"The checkout assistant immediately ran out to the front to check if it was on the ground, but it was not there. They then phoned the taxi company to check but the purse was not left in the car, and no one had handed it in to security either. My granny's friend was deeply upset, as all of her pension was in the purse."

That's when the unnamed manager stepped in to help out.

"With no money to even get home to her flat, the manager of the store ordered her a taxi and would pay for it himself," added Andy.

"One better, he gave her the Christmas shop completely free of charge and wished her a happy Christmas.

"He didn't have to do any of these things, but he did, even leaving himself out of pocket.

"One simple act of kindness can have an incredible impact on someone's life this Christmas."

Marks and Spencer modestly declined to exploit the gallant action of its Forestside manager.

But the story has gone viral on social media, with hundreds of message left by wellwishers. One, Lynsey Whiteside, said her partner had a similar experience a few weeks ago with an M&S manager in the Bloomfield branch in Bangor.

"She had no idea how her gesture impacted and we were truly grateful! So nice there's still decent people out there!" Lynsey said.

A Just Giving page set up by Andy to raise £350 to replace Freda's lost money had nearly reached its target last night.

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