Good Samaritan saves Christmas for Burnley woman

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A KIND-HEARTED pensioner showed the festive spirit is alive and well after saving Christmas for one Burnley family.

Gloria Windley (82) helped reunite a distressed mother-of-three Helen Hamilton with her Christmas shopping money after she mislaid it in the town centre.

The Good Samaritan got the chance to return the lost £60 to a tearful Mrs Hamilton (46) who thanked her with a hug.

Mrs Windley said: “When I gave it to her she was speechless. She could not stop hugging me and thanking me. She was delighted and she wanted to give me something to repay me but I didn’t want anything.

“My thanks was just seeing her face. This kind of thing does lift your spirits when something nasty happens – especially with all the doom and gloom around.”

Mrs Windley explained that she was out shopping with her sister and daughter in Burnley when she spotted what looked like rubbish blowing around.

She said: “I have got a bit of a thing about rubbish being left lying around so I went to pick it up. When I got nearer I realised it was £20 notes rolled up – they were just blowing around in the wind.”

She took the money into a nearby shop and the assistant said a distressed woman had been in looking for it.

PCSO Francesco Franco, of Burnley police, was on foot patrol in town at the time when he was alerted to the situation.

He said: “Mrs Hamilton was very upset as the money was intended to buy Christmas presents for her three children. She only had 50p in her pocket which was not enough for the bus journey home so I calmed her down and offered to take her home.”

PCSO Franco later received a call from Mrs Windley who said she had found the money and wanted to return it in person. He offered to take her to return the money and she handed it back to a delighted Mrs Hamilton.

PCSO Franco added: “This is a fantastic example of good community spirit – Mrs Hamilton was very lucky to be reunited with her money.

“Thanks to the goodwill of Mrs Windley, the couple will now be able to continue with their shopping and enjoy their Christmas.”