Veteran calls for water cheque charity donations

Streetlife youth worker Lee Abbott and shelter team leader Pete Tomkinson appealing for donations
Streetlife youth worker Lee Abbott and shelter team leader Pete Tomkinson appealing for donations
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An Army veteran who worked with some of Blackpool’s poorest people has called on more people to give their United Utilities compensation to charity.

Pete Tomkinson, 47, volunteered with young homeless people at Streetlife before going on to work for the charity for two years until June, when he left to launch his own company.

I wondered how they were coping at the night shelter having to use bottled water or boiled water

He gave his £60 pay-out for this summer’s water crisis to the charity, which provides support and shelter to young people under the age of 26, and wants others to too.

The self-employed first aid trainer said: “When I worked there I realised just how many people are struggling in the town, and it came to my mind during the water crisis.

“I wondered how they were coping at the night shelter having to use bottled water or boiled water.

“If they were full it will have been quite difficult.”

Mr Tomkinson, who spent 28 years in the Army and later volunteered helping locals in Africa, said his calls to give the cash to charity have been well received online.

“I thought, ‘Let’s turn this into something positive’,” he said. “It does not have to be Streetlife necessarily, it could be another charity.”

Streetlight, based in Buchanan Street, runs a night shelter next to St John’s church in Blackpool town centre.

It offers emergency accommodation from 7pm every night, holds regular drop-in sessions, and teaches vital life skills such as budgeting, how to maintain tenancy, and how to be more assertive.

Chief executive officer Jane Hugo said a few others had donated their cheques as well as Pete.

“It’s heart-warming to know the public do have appreciation for the work we do and understand the issues young people face,” she said.

“If more people gave it would make a huge difference. We have lost our council funding, which was around £150,000, and this is the first year we are managing without it.

“Any extra support we can get would be massively appreciated.”

For more information or advice visit www.wearestreetlife.org.