‘Tis the season of goodwill to all men – and women. Knowing this, three generous builders, enjoying their Christmas night out, interrupted the party to help a 71-year-old homeless woman get a room at a really swanky inn.
43-year-old Roger Hartigan along with his colleagues Joe Rich and David Harrison, paid £145 for her to stay in a hotel after they met the elderly woman while out and about in the centre of Bristol for their work Christmas party.
They stopped to speak to the woman, who was sheltering from the cold with all her belongings in plastic carrier bags – she wouldn’t give them her name, but they instantly took a liking to her.
The men, who are all builders, tried to hail a taxi to take her to a hotel but none would stop – so they split up and asked around to find a spare room, but not before Roger took a few choice selfies with the woman.
Roger recalled their encounter:
I saw this woman and she looked very fragile. She said she was 71 years old and had nowhere to go. We gave her some money and some cigarettes and we tried to hire her a taxi to take her to a hotel – but none would stop.
So some of the guys ran ahead to find a hotel with a spare room and I walked with her through the centre of town, carrying her stuff.
Then one of the lads called to say they’d found a room in a hotel opposite the Hippodrome. We walked her there and checked her in.
She told the friends she had been living on the streets of Bristol for 18 years, but her circumstances remain unclear.
She was just so vulnerable – there was no way I could leave her. I think she was a bit shocked at what was happening when I said we’d find her a hotel, but I reassured her we weren’t taking the mick.
We just wanted to make sure she was safe. We were out on our Christmas do but once we saw her she became our priority.
The hotel the woman was checked into is believed to be the Radisson Blu in Broad Quay, overlooking Harbourside. It’s a four-star swanky get up.
Praising his actions on social media one person said:
What a good bunch of lads.
Glad to know there are some out there who look after people who need help.
Well done those men – a very positive gesture.
Estimates made by homelessness charity Shelter last December suggested at least 250,000 people sleep rough on our streets every night.
At this time of year, when the weather drops to near freezing, it’s gestures like this which make all the difference.
London Euston recently promised to open its doors to 200 homeless people for a Christmas banquet on the 25th and others have been leaving warm clothes and blankets for those who need extra warmth.
Find out how you can help through Shelter.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.