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Reformed drug addict’s mission to find schoolboy who changed his life

A REFORMED drug addict has launched an appeal to find the schoolboy who helped him turn his life around.

Ben Hornsby, 36, was living on the streets and begging for cash in a town centre so he could fund his £50-a-day heroin habit.

Ben found himself living rough after he was released from prison where he served a total of three-and-a-half years for drug dealing and handling stolen goods.

As he was: Ben Hornsby at a time when he was homeless PICTURE: SWNS

But his life changed in September 2015 when a schoolboy approached him outside a Tesco in Banbury, Oxfordhsire, and gave him a bottle of water and his £2.50 pocket money.

Ben says that gesture was the trigger for him to re-evaluate his life and get clean.

The next day Ben went to a council-run drug detox centre where he stayed for three weeks before being transferred to a rehab programme in Portsmouth where he kicked the habit.

Incredibly, after just two years, Ben has beaten his drug addiction, got a flat and now works as a motivational speaker and fitness trainer.

He has now launched a social media appeal to find the boy who helped him change his life.

Motivational: Ben Hornsby is now a public speaker PICTURE: SWNS

Ben, who now lives in Portsmouth, said: ‘It would be nice to see the lad and say this is what you did for me.

‘After 17 years as a heroin addict, I tried to stop many times and my rock bottom was sitting in a shop door begging and I believe if he hadn’t come that day, I would still be sat there now or dead.

‘So it would the world to me to meet him, I don’t know what I would say but I’d thank him and show him what a random act of kindness can do to someone’s life.

‘All I know is that he was dark-haired, young boy about 11-years-old.

‘He came over to me, handed me a bottle of water and whatever he had in his pocket, probably his pocket money and said “here you go mate”, and walked off.’

Clean: Ben has changed his life around PICTURE: SWNS

Ben continued: ‘I just thought, “wow, I can’t do this anymore, I can’t live this life any longer”, so I went and got help.

‘I was really shocked by his kindness, it was the first time after half a year of begging that a kid had done that, it blew me away.

‘[The boy] completely changed my life, I now have a completely different outlook on life.

‘I believe my purpose in life is to help people and inspire people, before it was to get drunk and high on heroin but now I don’t think of drugs anymore, I just love life.’