A FUNERAL arranger says he has been “overwhelmed” by the community’s response to his appeal for clothes, bedding and household items for the homeless.

Justin Hydes, who works at Dawe Brothers Funeral Directors in Bye Street, Ledbury, had a close relative who ended up on the streets after a relationship break down.

This motivated him to help the homeless and raise awareness and understanding of their plight.

Mr Hydes said: “I wanted to make people aware that those living on the streets are not there through choice, something bad has happened to put them there. Sometimes they have made wrong decisions.

“I knew someone whose wife had died and he lost his way in life and got into financial difficulties. He nearly lost his home. When people get into the wrong mindset they can lose everything.”

My Hydes linked up with the Maggs Clothing Project which provides warm, dry clothing, bedding and toiletries for the homeless and gives household items to those who find a place to live to help get them back on their feet.

And after he put up a poster in the Dawe Brothers branch window listing items he was collecting, he said the response was unbelievable.

He said: “Within two hours, people were coming through the door with bags of items and soon they had filled up our front office.

“I have already taken three car loads to Maggs and I hope to make a delivery every week.”

Val Turner, volunteer co-ordinator from Maggs Project, said: “Maggs is very grateful for the contribution that Dawe Brothers Funeral Directors has made to the clothing project.

“Last year we provided free, clean clothing to nearly 380 people. Having the support from Dawe Brothers in Ledbury has been fantastic.”