Honoured... driver with heart as big as his bus
A kind-hearted bus driver who helped a homeless man in Belfast has been recognised for his generosity.
Paul Doyle received an award from the National Campaign for Courtesy after his story of helping the homeless man went viral last year.
Mr Doyle spotted the young man while out on his route multiple times wearing just a T-shirt in freezing cold weather.
The sight spurred Mr Doyle into action and on his next journey he stopped the bus with a surprise package that contained a new coat, bread, milk and £5.
Initially the young man was shocked, but he gratefully accepted the gift.
The act of kindness was an internet hit after passenger Anna-Marie McDaniel, who is currently teaching in Holland, shared it on Facebook.
The post has now been seen by more than 65,000 people and has been shared more than 3,700 times.
On receiving the award, which recognises politeness in everyday people, Mr Doyle said: "It's brilliant. I'm pleased I've made more people think about people in need out there.
"I'm blown away by the reaction, my passengers are still talking about it. I think it's also strengthened the relationship between bus drivers and our customers.
"After all, we are an important part of community life, meeting dozens of different people every day. I think this small gesture has made more people warm towards us, which is great."
Michael Dornan of Unite the Union said Mr Doyle was a modest man who could not believe the reaction he'd received. "Paul was passing him on the route and the man had no warm clothes on. Paul thought to himself: 'With the bad weather, I have to do something'.
"Paul is very humble. He's sort of embarrassed. He never intended anything like that. He didn't want any thanks. That's the type of person he is."
Mr Doyle received his certificate from PR Smith, National Campaign for Courtesy non-executive director, who added: "I came across Paul's story while reading the Metro newspaper on my daily commute through London, just as his act of kindness went viral.
"Paul is a true inspiration and I'm delighted to meet him and find out more about his story.
"It shows how even one simple act of generosity can be so powerful.
"It touches the hearts of an entire nation and raises the profile of a serious societal issue. Kindness has a knock-on effect."