Homeless man inspires goodwill in Skegness

Paul and Sparkles in their new tent. ANL-171120-185306001
Paul and Sparkles in their new tent. ANL-171120-185306001

A homeless man who has won the heart of the community with his selfless acts of kindness is facing a brighter Christmas after an appeal was launched to help him.

Fifty-two year old Paul has been homeless for 20 years and might have been spending a cold winter in a tent at Winthorpe with a greyhound dog called Sparkles his only companion had it not been for three local ‘angels’.

As he picked up litter and dog poo, or weeded public walkways without asking for reward Paul did not know that he had been spotted by Tammy Prescott, Nicky Watton and Gladys Richardson.

They decided he should get the reward he deserved and were spurred into action.

A chance post by Nicky on the Skegness, Skegness, Skegness Facebook page saying how nice it was of Paul to do these jobs attracted nearly 200 comments and offers of help ranging from clothes and winter boots to a hot meal and dog food.

Then Adornay Jeagar got involved by setting up the JustGiving crowdfunding page: ‘Weʼre raising £500 to Paul’s Christmas fund’.

Adornay said: “He spends most of his days cleaning litter up from the beach and local areas. It is rumoured that he also works with other homeless people.

“According to the locals that have spoken to Paul, he is a lovely old man with a good heart, he has a dog named Sparkles as his companion.

“As far as we’re aware he hasn’t asked for anything and isn’t the type to beg.

“Our goal is to raise as much as we can to give him as a Christmas present, hampers have been suggested, new clothes, a hotel or provisions to see him and his greyhound through winter. The truth is we just don’t know how he’ll choose to spend the money we give.

“But this isn’t about the money at the end of the day it is about giving back to someone who gives so much of his time cleaning up after folk.

“Winter is coming and it’ll be a cold one. He deserves better than to die of cold camped on a beach.”

Since the post, more than £350 has been raised on the JustGiving page and Tammy Prescott donated a tent and managed to find a hotel owner who has offered to put Paul and Sparkles up through winter.

And Gladys and Nicky have also been helping him with clothes and food donations. Simon Claxton of the Highwayman has offered him odd jobs for a hot meal and food for Sparkles, and Andrew Brett has found him some odd jobs at a gym.

Nicky said: “We’ve been up the beach helping Paul put up a new tent that was donated to him by Tammy Prescott, I’ve never met such a humble guy In all my life,

“Paul and Sparkles would like to say thank you to everyone who’s donated to him and his dog, and to all who have taken time to stop and talk to him. Myself, Tammy and Gladys will continue to offer him help and support for as long as he needs it.

“Thank you Skegness for coming together and helping out a guy in need.”