A 59-year-old man from Nottingham recently begged for help with a notice on his front gate that said he was struggling to make ends meet, in the hope that a neighbour might be able to help. The note read ‘PLEASE HELP. I have no food and no electricity. Any assistance would be appreciated. Thank you.’
In the lead up to Christmas, a couple of locals from Clifton, Mark and Craig, came across the note attached to a bag-for-life left by 59-year-old William on the garden gate of his Carlton home. After meeting with him, the pair discovered that William was struggling to cope after not having electricity or gas in his home for over a year. His house was freezing so Craig put £100 of his own money on the gas and electricity metre and arranged it to be fixed after discovering it was in need of repairs.
Locals rallied together to get William back on to his feet. Within hours of his cry for help, he received food items from Clifton food bank.
A Facebook post was also sent out seeking help with a link to a Paypal fundraising pool so that people could donate anything they could. The page reads: “William is a lovely man Who truly has fallen on hard times… he’s never claimed benefits or asked for anything of that sort, he has tried to get by, by selling his belongings in his garage sales!!! LET’S COME TOGETHER AND HELP! It seems he doesn’t have any family to help so it’s down to us!”
Well-wishers, even those struggling themselves – have so far donated over an astonishing £13,700, a significant increase from their original £2,500 goal.
After revealing that his last ‘proper’ meal was jam sandwiches, scores of people pledged to bring him more food and Jenny Connell, who lives in Carlton, has offered to drop him off a hot dinner a couple of times a week.
Businessman Craig Crawford, who set the ball rolling, said: “It’s heart breaking but heart warming seeing people give their last penny to help him. It’s humbling and I’m proud to see the community pull together to help when someone is in need. It’s a great example of what social media can do.”
The money raised will be used to help William, with some being set aside for others in desperate need. William, who lives alone in the house following the death of his mother, had been making ends meet by selling off furniture and games in garage sales until recently.
Adult social care has been contacted in a bid to help him claim benefits. Previously he had too much pride to claim, saying others were in greater need. He may also be able to claim financial support via Boots benevolent fund as a former employee.