‘Christmas miracle’ as community rallies to raise £5,000 for young homeless man


Just a day ago, John, did not have a job and was going to spend Christmas on the streets of Reading (Pictures: Twitter @harry_beardsley)

What started as a stranger’s small act of kindness has now become a chance for a new life for a young man sleeping rough.

Just a day ago, John, 28, did not have a job and was going to spend Christmas without a roof over his head.

But cricket lover Harry Beardsley spotted the man on the streets in Reading and decided to take him for lunch, some beers and a game of pool at a local pub, and offered to pay for a few nights of accommodation during the festive period.

In what has been dubbed as a holiday miracle, Harry then took to Twitter to appeal for more help from the community in Reading.

Within a few hours kind-spirited people had donated more than £5,000 on GoFundMe to cover a deposit for accommodation and rent for six months.

In a touching video message to those who helped him, John said: ‘Thank you everyone for helping me.

The 28-year-old now has a trial shift at a pub in Reading (Picture: Twitter @harry_beardsley)

‘I am going to get some rent and a place and get a job. I wish everyone a great 2022 and the rest of your life.’

John, who has kitchen and bar experience, also has a trial shift scheduled in the pub where him and Harry had lunch, and several other offers from Twitter users.

A woman who works in a Woodley scaffolding company contacted Harry looking for yard staff to help load lorries, and a man who runs a commercial cleaning company in the city also offered to speak with John.

Harry’s post has now amassed more than 50,000 likes and nearly 1,000 responses, praising him for his generosity.

Sharing an update with his followers, he said: ‘Absolutely overwhelmed with the support!

‘We have stopped donations as we now have enough for a deposit, six months rent and some money to get him sorted. He has a job offer as well!

‘We are going to see some places later today. Thank you so much to everyone who has helped.’

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