A man living in Edinburgh will be able to go home to his family in Kent for Christmas after a stranger bought him a train ticket.
Nathan Goodhew found himself unable to pay for a train or coach ticket to his family home in Sittingbourne, Kent, after he recently lost his job.
Mr Goodhew, who has lived in Edinburgh for just three months, posted on an Edinburgh Facebook group to ask if anyone could take him in on what looked like a ‘lonely Christmas’, as all of his friends were going home elsewhere and he could not afford to travel to see his own family.
“I’m just wondering if anyone has a spare seat at their table on Christmas day?’ he asked.
“All my pals are going home for Christmas and I couldn’t afford the coach/train journey to see my family.
“I’ve only been in Edinburgh three months so it was never super important to go back, but all the friends I’ve made are going home so it’s looking like a lonely Christmas.”
He added: “I do understand I’m asking to be invited into your house, it’s very embarrassing to put myself out here like this.”
Several members of the Facebook group came forward to invite Mr Goodhew to join them at their homes in Edinburgh.
One fellow member went even further: she bought Mr Goodhew a £120 return train ticket to Sittingbourne so that he can be with his family at Christmas.
“I spent an hour just saying thank you to her - I couldn’t believe it,” said Mr Goodhew.
“After she saw the post she sent me a private message to ask where my family was located, and then she offered to buy me a return ticket.”
Mr Goodhew will leave on Christmas Eve and return to Edinburgh on December 27, travelling by train.
The twelve-hour return trip will cost £120.
The cheapest available travel to Mr Goodhew’s home in Sittingbourne is to take a Megabus to London and then another coach to Kent, but even this twenty-hour return trip would still cost almost £100 at short notice.
Mr Goodhew will visit his sister in Sittingbourne, and will also surprise his mum, who still thinks he won’t be able to come.
When he returns to Edinburgh in the New Year he plans to meet up with his ticket-buying sponsor.
“I won’t let her buy a single drink!” he said.
One of Mr Goodhew’s friends previously offered to pay for a ticket but he said no.
“I couldn’t let her do that, she was already having to pay for her own travel home and she couldn’t afford it,” he said.
Mr Goodhew has lived in Edinburgh for just three months.
He moved to the Capital after a friend from school offered him a room.
“I’m so glad I moved up here, I’ve only met good people,” he said.
“And this just proves that.”