A one-woman crusade has been launched to help people sleeping rough on the streets.
Mum of six Annemarie Cheetham found herself so touched by the plight of Horsham’s homeless that she has vowed to do all she can to help.
Now 54-year-old Annemarie travels by bus from her home in Cowfold six days a week to seek out, chat and help the homeless in any way she can.
And she has also launched a crowdfunding appeal to raise cash to pay for vital items needed by the street sleepers.
She has up until now paid out of her own pocket for clothing, shoes, wet wipes, deodorant and such like and has got to know those on the street quite well.
“They are all lovely, although they are quite troubled. I just feel like everybody’s mother.”
She buys some items from charity shops. “It makes the money go further.”
Although Horsham has a night shelter, not everyone can go there, says Annemarie, and some find themselves facing public hostility.
“People look at them as scum, but there are a variety of reasons why people become homeless. On the whole they are not bad people.”
Annemarie, whose own son has suffered homelessness, first began her crusade around two months ago after chatting to some of the rough sleepers.
“Most of them didn’t want me to buy them anything, but they definitely need stuff,” she said. “They are very proud. They have got nothing, but they are very proud.”
Annemarie says that both the Salvation Army and the charity Horsham Matters both provide help for homeless people. “I’m just trying to fill a gap in between.”
To donate to Annemarie’s crowdfunding appeal see https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/horshamshomeless?