Cleaner Goes On Holiday Paid For By Bristol Uni Students So He Can See His Family

by : Charlie Cocksedge on : 19 Sep 2018 15:24
herman gordonherman gordonSandals/Bristruths/James Heale

230 students from Bristol University raised more than £1,500 so that a cleaner and his wife could enjoy a five-star holiday together.


Herman Gordon has worked at the University of Bristol for 12 years and is described as ‘the epitome of happiness’ by students. Herman came to the UK as part of the Windrush generation in 1967, when he was just 12 years old.

Now in his mid-60s, 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.

Having not visited his home country in over a decade, the students decided to do raise money for Herman via a JustGiving page. Before long, £1,500 had been raised, with more than 230 students donating.

Video footage of his emotional reaction as he was presented with the cash for his flights by the student who organised the collection went viral in June.


You can watch it here:

The cash came with a note which read:

Dear Herman,

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!

Much love,

Bristol students

Now, Herman and his wife have been able to enjoy their once in a lifetime trip thanks to the generous students.

herman bristol uni cleaner holiday 5 star caribbean resortherman bristol uni cleaner holiday 5 star caribbean resortSandals

The couple kicked off their holiday with a two-night stay at the Royal Caribbean Resort & Private Island in Montego Bay, courtesy of Sandals Resorts. The stay included a couple’s massage and a private candlelit dinner on the beach as a belated 23rd wedding anniversary celebration.

Mr and Mrs Gordon plan to continue their holiday, visiting family in Kingston.


Arriving at the resort, Herman said:

God bless you all. Everybody will see this and think that I’m a trillionaire!

His wife, Denise, added:

I just wanted to say thank you to all the University of Bristol students for this gift that they have given to me and Herman.

After Herman was given the money, he called his wife, who spoke to MailOnline about the whole thing.

Denise said:

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 idea was first pitched on Bristruth‘s Facebook page, who have since used the story to raise money for the mental health charity Mind. If you’d like to donate, click here.

If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Charlie Cocksedge

Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist and sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.

Topics: Life


  1. MailOnline

    Pictured: Bristol University's Windrush cleaner when he was a youngster before he came to UK - as students raise £1,500 to go home to visit his family