A bus driver who overcame a vicious cycle of crime, drug abuse, and homelessness has now been crowned the top bus driver in London.
Pat Lawson has spent 16 months working as a bus driver. Thanks to his positive attitude and heartwarming smile despite the traffic he has to deal with daily, the bus driver managed to inspire people around him and secure two awards.
The 50-year-old feels grateful he finally made it out of the “dark and vicious cycle” involving homelessness, crime, prison time, and drug abuse.
“My mum gave me advice and I didn’t take it. I was hot-headed in school and got expelled. I went to prison for stealing cars and met hardened criminals, ended up there again and started a dark and vicious cycle,” Lawson said, speaking of his past.
His situation worsened after an unprovoked attack 16 years ago left him fighting for his life.
“I thought I was going to die and I started thinking of my children. I knew it was life or death. I kept thinking, how did I end up in this situation?” the father-of-three added. “And that’s when I said, I need help. I wanted to climb out of the gutter.”
Eventually, Lawson sought help from volunteers of the Single Homeless Project, a charity that trained him to become a bus driver.
“I’ll say good morning to every single passenger and give them a big smile,” Lawson said, adding that he instantly fell in love with the job. “I was told it wouldn’t last long but passengers told me to keep on going.”
The 50-year-old has already received 100 acknowledgments from the public and two awards since he started his job in March 2017.
“The key is having the determination to change,” Lawson added. “I have been at rock bottom but it was the support from the charities … that has really helped me.”
The bus driver is now also determined to write a book about his turbulent life in an attempt to help others who are or were going through similar things to heal.
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