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28th Apr 2021

Former homeless man reunites with Greggs manager who bought him breakfast every morning

Danny Jones

The man claims the Greggs manager ‘saved his life’

A former homeless man from Leeds has returned to the Greggs store where the manager fed him every morning. He says she “saved his life” without even knowing it and that he just wanted “to say thank you for what you did buying me breakfast each morning.”

Josh Ellis, 25, had been homeless for some time and struggling with drug addiction for nearly 2 years. He stayed in a sleeping bag outside the Greggs on Kirkstall Road in the inner city area of Burley; the manager of the shop, Shelagh Wheeldon, made sure to buy him breakfast and a hot drink every morning. What a legend.

Josh was eventually found by Vulnerable Citizen Support Leeds, a charity that helps house the homeless and other individuals in need of help. They shared his story on their Facebook page, as well as pictures of him reuniting with Shelagh back at the shop, with Josh now been clean for more than 120 days.

Better still, Josh has not only found somewhere to live but has also found work as a landscaper thanks to another local charity in the Leeds area. Shelagh herself spoke to the Yorkshire Evening Post; she spoke of how she was “gobsmacked” at the progress he has made.

The 45-year-old went on to say, “I am really optimistic for his future”, how “the program [VCSL] have set up is great” that she is “just so glad it was my shop he was saved from”.

She reiterated how Josh was always friendly, grateful, “never asked for anything at all” and that it was clear from that start that he had “a kind soul”. In one particular story, she shared that at Christmas, “Josh had saved up some money he had been given outside the shop and been to buy me some chocolate to thank us for buying him food”. What a guy.

Although it is clear Josh has had a tough life and still has long a road ahead of him, she described the story as having “a happy ending”. Josh’s spirit is clearly a strong one and is working hard to help himself as well as others.

Good on you, lad.