It’s a small act of kindness that makes all the difference. And it’s one that made Tracey Ann Banting turn to the internet to find her young knight in shining armour.
When student Ben Turner, from Poulton, noticed Tracey struggling to find change at West Street car park, he went over and offered her £1.
His small gesture meant so much to her that she posted her experience on Facebook and asked people to share her message and help her repay his kindness.
Thanks to Stephany Wood, social media and communications intern at Blackpool and The Fylde College, where Ben, 18, is a student, the two were united.
Stephany said: “I read the post and thought it was such a lovely story.
“Young people often get criticised but this is a great example of a student going out of his way to help someone else. Showing fairness, courtesy and mutual respect is a college value and we’re proud Ben put this into action.
“I was able to find the right Ben Turner on the college database as we knew it had been his birthday recently and I was so happy to play my part in helping Tracey and Ben get in touch with each other.”
Tracey, from Bispham, paid a visit to the college where she was able express her gratitude to Ben in person.
She said: “I’d had a bad morning and he made such a difference. I posted a message and then it just snowballed.
“It’s had nearly 600 shares. I thought I’d find him this way as Blackpool is a small town. I really wanted to thank Ben in person and tell his dad what a fantastic job he’s done of raising him, he’s lovely.
“I’m also extremely grateful to Stephany for helping to reunite me with Ben.”
Ben, who is studying an extended diploma in mobile media development, added: “I was surprised Tracey even remembered my name.
“I didn’t do it for the recognition or to get anything back, I just saw someone who needed help.
“I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if I’d walked past, I’ve been brought up to help in any way I can.
“It felt good when she told me I’d made her day.”
Ben’s dad Peter Turner added: “I was really proud of Ben when he told me.
“It’s natural for him to be kind, that’s just the way he is. It’s lovely of Tracey to do something about it as well – most people would simply say thanks and get on with their busy lives.”
It’s good karma!
Strangers have backed a student’s random act of kindness - and vowed to do the same if they discovered someone in distress.
Ben Turner, of Blackpool and The Fylde College, gave Tracy Ann Banting £1 when he saw she was struggling to find change for car parking.
Emma Goddard, 24, of St Annes, said: “I would definitely help out in the hope they would do the same for me. If I just walked past and ignored them I’d feel guilty for the rest of the day.”
Olive Saxon, 72, of Acre Gate, South Shore, added: “If someone was begging on the street I would rather buy them food than give them money, but if someone was in trouble I’d help them out.”
Kyle Ellison, 20, of Squires Gate Lane, South Shore, added: “I couldn’t walk past someone who needed help, so I would stop and ask if they were OK.”
Lynn Johnson, 55, of Vicarage Lane, Marton, added: “I would do it because of karma and I hope if I’m nice to someone they would be nice to me. I helped a disabled person put shopping in their car the other day and that gave me a good feeling.”