A simple act of human kindness

Sue Sycamore, manageress at Clarks, Sudbury. ANL-160713-143805001

Sue Sycamore, manageress at Clarks, Sudbury. ANL-160713-143805001

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Customers and staff at a shop in Sudbury have described the touching moment they clubbed together to buy an elderly man a pair of shoes.

The 96-year-old man, whose identity is unknown, visited Clarks in Market Hill, Sudbury, on June 29, arriving in odd, worn out shoes and was unable to afford a new pair.

He asked for the cheapest shoes, with many being sold for half price or less.

Despite being shown a £30 pair, the man said he was unable to afford the shoes and would save up and return when he could afford them.

“It broke our hearts. He’d got odd shoes on and they were very worn out and dirty,” said Sue Sycamore, manager at the shop.

“He was 96 last week. He’s so sweet and lovely to talk to but he just couldn’t afford shoes. We just couldn’t let him leave.”

Mrs Sycamore said she looked at the customers and fellow staff in the shop before calling back the gentleman as he left the shop, saying she would buy him a pair of shoes and inviting him to try some on.

“He was so overwhelmed, he kissed my arm,” said Mrs Sycamore, who has worked in the store for 33 years.

“By the time he had gone two customers had left more than enough money so I didn’t even have to spend any money myself in the end.”

Caitlin Phillips from The Croft, Sudbury, was one of the customers to contribute.

She said: “It was really touching. He was completely bowled over and didn’t know what to say.”

Other staff in the shop described it as a very emotional moment.