53 year old Gulf war veteran, Ian Stapleton, had been living rough on the streets of Manchester for the last seven years.
The heroic soldier ended up homeless and turned to alcohol after his marriage collapsed leading to financial difficulty and the loss of his house.
Mr. Stapleton has also been plagued with a raft of mental health issues whilst suffering from PTSD and had given up all hope, even contemplating suicide.
“I just wanted it all to go away, the hunger, the freezing temperatures and the indifference of passers by. I couldn’t believe this is what my life had become.” He said.
But his luck changed one bitter cold night last November when an interaction with a stranger changed his life forever
“It was just like all the other days, I was huddled up in a shop doorway and this guy walked past so I asked him if he had any spare change. He told me I was a lazy bastard and that I should get job. It was a revelation, I’d never thought of it like that before. I wish I could track the guy down and shake his hand, he saved me life that night!”
Mr. Stapleton immediately picked himself up, washed in his face in a public toilet basin, then walked into a branch of Barclays bank as soon as it opened and asked if there were any jobs going.
“I couldn’t believe it, they didn’t care that I had no home and that I’d been wearing the same clothes for months, it just didn’t matter to them. I was offered the job of bank manager right there and then, given a company Audi and the keys to a city centre apartment. I wish I’d known seven years ago how easy it was.”
This follows the miraculous story of a woman with depression from Middleton who has cheered up after being told to cheer up and an alcoholic who stopped drinking after being asked “why not try not drinking alcohol?”