Homeless charity thanks Corby people for helping pay for John Holland's funeral

The volunteers from Corby charity Help the Homeless.
The volunteers from Corby charity Help the Homeless.

A homeless charity has thanked Corby folk for their generosity in giving thousands of pounds towards the funeral of John Holland which will take place tomorrow

John, who had been homeless for many years, died on October 8 after being found in a serious condition by a dog walker in West Glebe Park the day before.

John Holland.

John Holland.

Charity Help the Homeless, who had been helping to look after and support John, set up a Just Giving page along with John's friend Emma Allen to raise funds to pay for his funeral and just under £3000 has been donated by people, many of whom did not know John.

Tanya Evans who runs the charity from West Glebe Park pavilion with friend Trudy Piggott and a large group of supporters said the generosity of people from the town has been incredible.

She said: “Corby people are amazing and so kind hearted. When something like this happens then the town comes together. We our hugely grateful to everyone who has donated.”

John had been sleeping in a bush in the night before he died. He had been wary of sleeping in a tent after he suffered serious burns to his back several months before when his canvas home was set on fire when pitched in a Corby wood.

He used to sleep in various locations around the town and Tanya had just helped him to secure somewhere to stay the week before he died.

Trudy said: “We saw him the Friday before he died and made sure he got a meal, was clean and warm and we made sure he took a hat.

“He was such a lovely person, but had had a very hard life.”

After the appeal by Help the Homeless John’s family got in touch with the charity and have since taken over the funeral arrangements which will take place at Kettering crematorium tomorrow at 11.30am.

The charity will be driving over a number of people from Corby’s homeless community to pay their last respects to John.

Help the Homeless is open on Monday and Friday lunchtimes and gives Corby’s rough sleepers warm food, shower facilities and clean and dry clothes.

It is entirely run on donations with volunteers buying ingredients from their own pockets.

It will run out of the former Corby police station in Elizabeth Street, when it becomes a temporary night shelter later this month.

The charity is in particular need of men’s trousers in a size 32-34 and anyone who has some they would like to donate can drop them into the pavillion between 12-2.30pm on Mondays and 12-2pm on Fridays.

It is thought that Corby has 30 or more people sleeping outside each night. There are tented encampments throughout the town’s woodland and the numbers are rising.