Many residents local to Hampton and Hampton Hill know or would have seen John living in the shelter near the junction of the High Street and Uxbridge Road for the past few years. After signing up to the Prudential Ride100 cycle race on 30 July, and having spotted John several times on the way to Hampton Pool, Stephanie Atkinson decided to cycle on behalf of the charity Shelter, to help those like John.
In Stephanie’s words;
I have to be honest… I signed up for Ride100 because I thought it would be fun (more on that later) but what charity should I ride for? It was back in cold foggy February that I started swimming regularly at Hampton pool… passing this bus shelter and John. It was his third winter living there and I was worried about him – he looked really down.
He has a roof over his head, sure, but there is no glass in the windows and a wall is missing! When the sun sets there are no lights except from passing cars and nowhere to dry out after the rain (even bin liners don’t keep it out). This for seven days a week, 365 days a year, for three years.
He’s a lovely guy. He never accepts money or food (believe me, I’ve offered) and is great to chat to (please say hello if you ever pass by). We talk about all sorts: sport, travel and food (one of his favourite topics). I have no idea what tragic events have led him to this situation and are keeping him there. All I know for sure is that it’s a brutal existence that nobody deserves. I can’t help John but it would mean a lot to me to raise some money for Shelter so they can help other people in his situation.
If you’d like to support Stephanie and help people like John, do donate what you can on her JustGiving page
The charity Shelter works to alleviate the distress caused by homelessness and bad housing. We help people find and keep a home. We campaign for decent housing for all. Our work won’t stop until there’s a home for everyone.