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29th November 2015

Stranger leaves £20 for struggling student

A random act of kindness has been applauded widely on social media after a stranger in the SU café donated a Manchester student the £20 she really needed

Charlotte Rose Ford, a student at the University of Manchester, was treated to a random act of kindness after a stranger overheard her phone call to a counsellor about the pressure she was under.

Charlotte had been sitting in the Students’ Union speaking with her counsellor about the £20 cost to get a doctor’s letter needed to get mitigating circumstances for her university deadlines.

Charlotte explained she sometimes misses deadlines due to getting distracted by her low mood or gets anxious that her work isn’t good enough.

Her phone call in ended in tears, but she was then presented with a coffee with a note and two £10 notes in the coffee cup’s sleeve.

The stranger’s note said: “I hope you don’t mind that I overheard. Just wanted to say don’t worry! I’ve been there, I thought I wouldn’t get through my undergrad and now I’m doing a Ph.D.! This is for the doctor’s note. You’ll get through it!”

Charlotte posted about the incident on Facebook and it was widely shared. She wrote: “Mental health stuff at uni is hard and sometimes I struggle to get my work done to a standard I’m happy with, or I miss deadlines because I’m too distracted by my low mood or I’m too anxious that my work isn’t good enough—so I have to ask for mitigating circumstances. It wasn’t a particularly fun phone call, and I got a bit emotional whilst I was explaining to the counsellor what I wanted to see them for.

“At one point I mentioned the fact that I needed a letter for a mitigating circumstances form, and that I’d been to the doctor but that they would charge me £20 for it, which is money I can’t always spare.”

Charlotte has said she is now booking an appointment with the University’s Counselling Service.

Charlotte added: “I don’t know who it was that sent it to me but if they read this I want to thank them so much because they completely made my day and made me feel so much better; as well as completely baffled by how kind strangers can be!”

Charlotte said the experience proved “you’re really not on your own” and that “the world is a lovely place”.

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