Kindness from a stranger

It’s not every day that a complete stranger offers a random act of kindness. So when 91-year-old Joyce Carter was doing her shopping in TJ Hughes, she was left completely gobsmacked when a stranger offered to help out with her bill.

Joyce is one of the Trust’s longest serving volunteers. She has volunteered at the Royal and Broadgreen Hospitals for over 21 years, and was even awarded an MBE in 1989 for her services and dedication to the patients, visitors and staff at the hospital.

Last week when she left the hospital to head home for the day, she stopped off at TJ Hughes as she needed to pick up a new kettle.

“I could not find a white kettle and while waiting for the shop assistant I got into conversation with a young couple who were also waiting to be served. During our chat I mentioned about being a volunteer at the Royal,” said Joyce. The gentleman then went away for a few minutes and reappeared with a white kettle.

“He said, ‘come on, I will pay for this, as a little thank you for being a volunteer’. No matter how hard I tried I could not get the box from him. We got to the cash desk and he paid for the kettle. To say I was overwhelmed is an understatement. I did not get his name to say thank you.”

The gentleman, who Joyce describes as being in his late 20s to early 30s and about 5”8 with dark hair, mentioned that he ran a pub in the Liverpool area. Joyce now wants to thank him again, so if you are reading this and you are that gentleman, please know that you made a lovely lady very happy.

“Nothing like this ever happens to me.  I was completely overwhelmed at this kind gesture from the gentleman. I couldn’t believe it! I would love to thank the gentleman in person now I have had time to get over the shock. I understand he might like to remain anonymous; I don’t want to embarrass him. I have written this letter to thank him anyway, so I hope somewhere out there he is able to read it.”


Joyce decided to volunteer at the Royal following the passing of her husband, Leslie, 34 years ago. She wanted to do something worthwhile to fill her time and to help her overcome losing her lifelong partner. Joyce describes her reasons for taking up volunteering as “wanting to feel as though she was doing something good in the world to help other people.”

Patients may recognise Joyce as she has helped a number of people find their way around the hospital or offered a chat over a cup of tea on the chemotherapy wards in Linda McCartney. More recently Joyce has been helping out in the post rooms in the physiotherapy department, where she has become a firm favourite amongst the staff.

If you know who the gentleman was that bought Joyce her kettle, please contact Alison Germain-Martin, volunteer services manager, at