In Depth

Hard-up train passenger wakes to find £100 gift from stranger

Ella Johannessen woke up to find the money, in £20 notes, on her lap underneath a napkin

A kind-hearted stranger gave £100 to a fellow train passenger after overhearing her discussing her dire financial situation on a train from Peterborough.

Ella Johannessen, 23, was travelling to Leeds on a Virgin Trains East Coast service to visit friends on Saturday when the mystery donor heard her discussing how “stressed and upset” she was about her finances during a phone call to her mother.

After waking up from a nap she found the gift of £100 in cash lying under a napkin on her lap.

A Facebook post she wrote hoping to find the person who left the money has been shared more than 3,000 times.

The 23-year-old Leeds Beckett University graduate told the BBC she “got into debt during her final year of study after giving up her part-time job to concentrate on her course”.

Johannessen boarded a Virgin Trains East Coast service to Leeds at Peterborough station on Saturday afternoon and proceeded to call her mother.

“I spoke to her about how little money I had, how worried I was about my finances and I got upset,” she wrote.

After waking up, she found the money and started to cry as she was “incredibly thankful” for the kind stranger's help.

She said: “After a terrible 18 months where I lost my father and both of his parents it showed me that there is kindness and good people in the world.”

Despite the post going viral Johannessen told the Daily Mirror she is still yet to find the kind passenger - and she's not too sure the mystery donor wants to be found.

“I would like to tell the person that they are a fantastic human being and it has really lifted my spirits and massively helped me out,” she said.

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