A former Big Issue vendor has completed his journey from the streets to be named “London’s happiest bus driver”.
Patrick Lawson, 50, from Finsbury Park, spent 20 years sleeping rough punctuated with spells in prison before selling The Big Issue in Russell Square and Mayfair.
He teamed up with the charity Single Homeless Project in 2016 at its Islington Aftercare Service, which supported the former bus driver to rebuild his confidence, encouraging him to renew his licence and retrain.
Stories to #inspire: former #homeless man becomes #London’s happiest bus driver – thanks to #charity (@SHPcharity) that helped him turn his life around: https://t.co/FBIpCcxmJm#EndHomelessness#SocialHousing#MondayMotivationpic.twitter.com/25i8HV7miW
— Homefinder UK (@homefinderuk) January 7, 2019
Patrick scooped a job behind the wheel with social enterprise HCT Group and took over the number 26 route from Hackney Wick to Waterloo Station.
Since then, he has flourished, attracting 66 commendations from passengers and winning the Hello London Award for Outstanding Community Service at TfL’s London Bus Awards. He also named a finalist in the Top London Bus Driver category at the UK Bus Awards.