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Rough sleeper finds work at Wednesbury haulage firm

image copyrightUnder One Sky
image captionHarinder Singh said his faith means it was important to help others

A haulage boss who employed a rough sleeper says now more than ever is time to show compassion and give back.

Mark O'Reilly had been sleeping outside the National Portrait Gallery in London during lockdown before being taken on by Harinder Singh in Wednesbury.

Mr O'Reilly, 21, now has new accommodation, works as a driver's mate and wants to help others in a similar position, Mr Singh said.

The firm aims to help and hire more rough sleepers.

"If there ever was a time to show compassion and togetherness, this really is the time," Mr Singh said.

"It's given us a real buzz, to be honest in these tough times.

image copyrightUnder One Sky
image captionMark O'Reilly was sleeping outside the National Portrait Gallery in Trafalgar Square during lockdown

"Mark really has shown a lot of enthusiasm and wants to help others.

"Our industry is about service and interaction and that is a great stepping stone for someone who has been homeless and isolated."

"Giving back"

Homeless charity Under One Sky helped Mr O'Reilly connect with his future employer after he was approached outside the gallery in Trafalgar Square, London, during the lockdown.

He initially turned down offers of shelter but eventually accepted and Mr Singh's company has now helped him secure new accommodation.

He has been working as a driver's mate for four months.

Mr Singh and the charity are visiting London on Saturday to give out emergency kits to other rough sleepers in the hope of helping them get off the streets.

"My Sikh faith means we are one family, one humanity so that is absolutely integral in our beliefs... it's all about giving back," Mr Singh added.

In February, the government pledged an extra £236m to tackle rough sleeping.

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Related Topics

  • Homelessness in the UK
  • Homelessness
  • Wednesbury

More on this story

  • Government pledges £236m to help rough sleepers