Monday, October 16, 2017

Homeless Paul the regular hero!

They may be homeless
With nowhere to go
But smile and help
With a heart full of glow

© Emdad Rahman

I find the psychology of stereotyping both intriguing and fascinating. Real heroes don't wear capes, or spandex, or Y fronts, or masks, or mini skirts. They are regular people and often the most unlikely candidates. Some are often unwashed, unkempt, and grimy but their hearts are pure gold and as clean and pure as they come. 

They sit there through the day, ignored, abused, looked down on and maybe sometimes offered a few scraps as a helping hand. They are rare and their struggles and predicament are more often down to unfortunate circumstances. That's the biggest lesson I have learnt whilst working with homeless friends over the years. 

Paul is a regular at One Third Soup Kitchen Stratford. I have known him now for three years and we consider each other good friends. He gets it in the neck a lot of the times from the locals but gives back just as good. 

He keeps himself to himself but is always lending a hand here, opening a door there, helping clear rubbish, warning of pickpockets and even shouting off unscrupulous characters within the vicinity. He loves a curry, especially an economically priced buffet. His favourite hangout is in a quiet spot in Woodford where he goes to get away from it all. He's also got a foul temper which I find quite humorous and his rants are pure comedy gold. 

It came as no surprise to hear that Paul was on hand to help two teenage victims of the recent Stratford Centre acid attacks. Speaking about the incident, their mother Justine Turvey said: “Paul took the boys to Burger King to get water to wash out their eyes and skin. He also helped calm them down before the police arrived. Understandably they were quite shaken by the attack.

A JustGiving crowdfunding page was set up by Justine Turvey for Paul after he helped her son and friend after they were sprayed in the face with acid. After being punched and kicked by the gang, a noxious substance was sprayed at them which also hit bystanders.

A large number of police cars and ambulances attended the incident which left a number of people seeking medical attention, and the front of the Stratford Centre cordoned off. Fortunately, the liquid only irritated the skin of the people it hit, and did not cause serious injury.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, the two boys were left in shock after the gang fled. Paul was on it like lightning and helped the boys out. It's a typical reaction from this hero. went to help the boys.

At the time of writing the JustGiving page had reached £1,365 of its original £500 target.

Paul isn't always hungry but is usually short of a bob so I would thoroughly recommend a donation is made to this fundraising page to help him get some proper help which the wonderful Joanne has initiated.  

To support the appeal, please visit

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