A London-based milkman has become something of a local hero thanks to his passion for helping others.
Ian Beardwell’s altruistic streak means he’s returned lost pets to their owners, found and returned a laptop after spotting it on the road, and even chased car thieves – all while delivering milk.
For one particular act of kindness, where he helped to calm and reassure a Southfields resident and her young daughter following a burglary, the cheerful milkman won an award.
Ian was completing his milk round at 4am in December 2017 when he noticed the front door of a nearby house was wide open and all the lights were on. Concerned, he rang the doorbell and waited for a response.
He was greeted by local TV producer Sasha Rickerd, who was visibly very shaken. She told him that she had woken up when she heard someone break into her home - her young daughter was also upstairs with her, terrified.
Too scared to do anything other than turn on the lights and pace around to try and warn the burglars that someone was at home, Sasha hadn’t managed to call the police. She was also yet to check whether anyone was still inside.
Ian offered to wait at Sasha’s door until she had done this, reassuring and calming her at the same time. Once Sasha had called the police, Ian completed his milk round but circled back 10 minutes later to check on her.
The milkman, who works for delivery company milk&more, said: “I was happy to help Sasha, just as I hope anyone would have done. I understand that these kind of situations can be very scary and am just happy that she and her daughter are now safe and well.”
After the incident, Sasha contacted the Wimbledon depot where the milkman works to thank Ian for his actions. She also gave him a thank you gift. He has since received a ‘Hero’ award from the company for his actions.
Sasha said: “Ian was extraordinarily reassuring and simply lovely. Moments like this can feel unbelievably lonely and vulnerable, especially as my young daughter was with me, but Ian completely understood that I was frightened and went out of his way to help.
“His presence made a horrible circumstance immeasurably better and I cannot thank him enough for taking the time to help us - complete strangers to him.”
HumanKind is HuffPost’s celebration of kindness, featuring people who do incredible things for others or the planet – transforming lives through small but significant acts. Get involved by joining us on Facebook or telling us about the people who you think deserve recognition for their kind works. You can nominate them here or share your personal story by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.