South Tyneside schoolgirl thanks bus driver who paid her fare home when she lost purse
Abigail Brunton, 11, was left distressed and unable to pay for her bus fare to and from Jarrow School after losing her purse but compassionate Ken Waterson stepped-in to help.
Good Samaritan Ken allowed Abigail to get on the Number 9 bus despite not having any money on her.
He then went even further, giving her her fare home.
Abigail was only in the second week of her time at secondary school after leaving Valley View Primary.
Abigail’s mum, Jay Lodge, took to Go North East’s Facebook page to thank Ken and the post quickly went viral, gathering scores of positive comments about his actions.
The post – liked over 14,000 times – was shared over 1,000 times and had more than 600 people comment on it.
Abigail’s mum Jay, also mum to Kate, 10, and baby Jack, eight months, said she was astonished by how much attention her Facebook post had attracted: “I could not believe it, it’s amazing really.
“The only reason I did it was so that he would get the recognition for being kind.
“I work in customer service, so I know exactly what it is like and all the bad customers that you have.
“I just wanted to show our gratitude because he really did help her.
“He did what I would hope a lot of people would do - but maybe not. I would imagine bus drivers get a lot of strife from people.
“When she rang me, I thought something horrendous must have happened - she was so upset.
“She is still getting used to getting the bus and is just finding her feet with everything.
“She had got off the bus , thinking ‘I can’t get on,’ and he said ‘Just get on.’
“Then as she was getting off, he asked her if she had enough money and then gave her the fare home.
“I just thought ‘He has really helped her out.’
“I wanted him to get recognition he deserved and a pat on the back from his bosses for doing the right thing.”
Ken, 49, has worked for Go North East for five years.
“I saw Abigail outside the bus and she was looking through her bag as if she had lost something,” he said.
“When she said she didn’t have a far home I gave her a £1.
“I’ve got a step grandaughter who is her age so you worry about them all the time.
The former bricklater, window fitter and taxi driver added: “I did voluntary work for eight or nine years so I’m used to helping people out.
“Graft is graft to me and I’m just glad she was OK.”