When Charlotte Rose Ford, a university student in Manchester who suffers from anxiety, tried to convince the student counselling service of her problems over the phone, she had no idea someone else would be listening in on her conversation.
"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," she explains.
"I was quite teary talking to the counsellor and when I hung up the phone I pretty much just wanted to go back home to bed rather than to my afternoon lecture."
But then something wonderful happened.
As Ford messaged her friends to see if one of them could come and help her, a stranger approached her in the students' union with a cup of coffee and said “This is for you, someone sent it over”.
Inside the cup sleeve was a note that read:
"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 PHD! This is for the doctor's note. You'll get through it".
Enclosed was two £10 notes.
"Of course I pretty much burst into tears all over again before I’d even opened it (because I’m like that), and then I was so overwhelmed by it!" writes Ford in a Facebook post (above) which has been shared almost 6,000 times.
"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!"
Ford says the incident has proved to her that, "You’re really not on your own no matter how much you might think so" and that "the world actually is such a lovely place sometimes".
Read more stories on unexpected acts of kindness from perfect strangers below. They're a timeless reminder that reaching a helping hand to someone in trouble is one of the most selfless and fulfilling things we can do.
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