A group of Bristol University students reduced a cleaner to tears when they raised money for him to go and visit his family in Jamaica.
Herman Gordon, who works as a cleaner at Bristol University, came to the UK from Kingston, Jamaica, in 1967 – when he was just 15 years old – and part of the Windrush generation.
The cleaner is loved by many of the students at Bristol, and is said to have a happy-go-lucky nature and positive attitude towards life.
Now in his mid-60s, Herman has worked at Bristol University for 12 years, and his heart-warming personality inspired the students to do something amazing for him.
The students set up a JustGiving page for Herman to raise money for him to visit his family. The page described the cleaner as ‘the epitome of happiness’, and before long £1,500 had been raised, with more than 230 students donating.
Herman broke down in tears when he was handed his cash gift, and was overwhelmed by the kindness of the students. He thanked the students and said, ‘God bless every one of you.’
The cash came with a note which read:
On behalf of the students at Bristol, we would like to thank you for all the positive energy you have given us throughout the years. you have brightened many of our days and we want you to know that we love and appreciate you. We have come together to give you a special gift as our way of saying thank you. Have a lovely summer!
Herman called his wife after he was given the money, who spoke to MailOnline about her husband’s reaction.
He phoned me and he was so excited that he couldn’t get his words out… he was crying down the phone.
He said the students have given me this money for us to go to Jamaica… he said: ”I can’t believe it! We are going to see my family in Jamaica. I am going home to see my uncle George and all the cousins.”
He was in shock, but so happy. Just overwhelmed by the students’ kindness.
It is amazing, he had no idea. We are both in shock. They are lovely students.
The crowdfunding page was first pitched on the Facebook page Bristruths, asking if anyone would consider donating.
When many people responded positively to the post, the page was set up anonymously and shared on the Facebook page.
The post read:
It now exists! Let’s get Herman a week off to Jamaica this Summer!! I’ll video his reaction once we reach the target.
After the success of the fundraiser, the creators posted their thanks, writing:
We would like to thank everyone who contributed to this incredible gift. It is truly amazing what we can achieve when we come together.
It is thanks to your generosity that we’ve been able to raise about £1,500 – meaning both Herman and his wife will be able to visit Jamaica for the first time in four years.
We hope Herman has a great holiday!
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.