From a Translink press release:
Translink bus driver Paul Doyle has received a special award from the National Campaign for Courtesy in recognition of his exceptional example of kindness towards the end of last year.
Paul, a Metro driver based in Falls Road bus depot in West Belfast, hit media headlines worldwide at the end of 2015 for a simple act of generosity in which he presented a winter coat to someone in need.
While out driving during his shifts, Paul often noticed a young man outside and was concerned by his lack of suitable clothing in cold and often wet winter weather conditions. He decided to buy the man a warm coat and give it to him the next time his bus passed by.
Another passenger on board the bus at the time who witnessed Paul’s generosity, shared it on social media and the story went viral. It even inspired a local radio station to launch a #clothesforchristmas campaign which received thousands of donations for vulnerable people in need across Northern Ireland with Translink stations also becoming collection points for clothing.
Paul received a special certificate from PR Smith, National Campaign for Courtesy Non Executive Director, who said: “I came across Paul’s story while reading the ‘Metro’ newspaper on my daily commute through London – just as his act of kindness went viral.
“Paul is a true inspiration and I’m delighted to meet him and find out more about his story. It shows how even one simple act of generosity can be so powerful it touches the hearts of an entire nation and raises the profile of a serious societal issue. Kindness has a knock-on effect. Paul tells me that both he and other Belfast bus drivers have observed that car drivers are more patient since this story went viral.
“On behalf of the National Campaign for Courtesy, I would like to thank Paul and officially recognize his exceptional thoughtfulness.”
On receiving the Campaign for Courtesy award, Paul Doyle said: “It’s brilliant – I’m pleased I’ve made more people think about people in need out there. I’m blown away by the reaction – my passengers are still talking about it. I think it’s also strengthened the relationship between bus drivers and our customers. After all, we are an important part of community life, meeting dozens of different people every day – I think this small gesture has made more people warm towards us which is great.”
Paul was also recently presented with a Special Award from the Federation of Passenger Transport NI in recognition of his act of kindness.