Worksop community rallies to get homeless man and his dog a new home
A homeless Worksop man and his dog whose plight captured the hearts of the community is set to move into a new home thanks to a fundraising campaign.
Local dog trainer Sarah Knowles decided to set up a fundraising page for 28-year-old Jay and his dog Lilly after reading about him on a community Facebook page.
And just days into the campaign to raise £500 the page has already generated nearly £1,500 and a house has been found for Jay that he is hoping to move into this weekend.
Sarah has also offered Jay a job at her new business venture The Woof Hub Ltd when it opens later this year and given cross breed terrier Lilly a groom and check over.
She said: “The support has been so overwhelming, I’m not an emotional person but it brought me to tears.
"The warmth and generosity of the people I’ve met has been absolutely mind blowing no one has a bad word to say about him. I’m just someone who wanted to do my bit to help a genuinely lovely guy and give him an opportunity to be able to turn his life around.”
Sarah became involved after seeing a post asking if anyone could help Jay who has been sleeping on the street near Sainsbury's on Newcastle Avenue since becoming homeless a few months ago.
Sarah said: “I saw a post from a lady called Lucy on a Retford and Worksop Facebook page asking if anyone was able to help Jay as it was pouring with rain and she had passed him in the car but had been unable to stop.
"Within minutes there were 117 comments from people saying nothing but nice things about Jay, about what a lovely man he was, so polite, who never asked for money or donations.
"I thought I’d go and find him but I searched and couldn't see him so the next day I put a post up and had 250 comments from people wanting to help.
“I made Jay aware of what we wanted to do and gave Lilly a bath and groom and she is the best kept dog I could have asked to see.
"I set up a funding page and one of my clients offered a Jay a property so any money raised will go towards that until Jay starts working with me and earning his own money hopefully around September time.”
Sarah said Jay found himself on the streets after his neighbours began putting pressure on him to sell drugs. When Jay refused Sarah said he was subjected to bullying and violence and decided to leave his home.
Sarah said: “Jay just wants to raise awareness and wants to take a stand and to make the point that everyone’s situation is independent and homeless people shouldn’t be tarnished with the same brush.
"Jay isn't a drug user or an addict and doesn’t want to be put under this umbrella just because he’s found himself sleeping on the streets. He just wants some normality back and is looking forward to having the opportunity of moving into a new home with Lilly.
"He is excited to move into a new home and has been overwhelmed by the support.”
People can donate to the fundraising page here.