A HOMELESS man has been ‘overwhelmed’ after his life was turned around by offers of jobs, hundreds of pounds, and a place to live.

The man, who only wishes to be known as Nick, spent four years on the streets.

After a difficult time in Torquay, including being mugged, Nick returned to Chard five weeks ago.

That was when everything changed for him.

Nick, who is originally from Taunton, first moved to Chard when he finished school and started working at Oscar Mayer.

But he lost his job and broke up with his partner.

Nick said: “It was my drinking that destroyed my life, but I have quit now, and I stopped four years back.

“If it wasn’t for the drink, I probably wouldn’t have lost my job or my partner.”

He returned to Taunton but struggled to adapt.

Nick said: “I don’t like hostels. There are lots of people drinking and trying to get me to drink. I would rather just stay away from it.”

He moved back to Chard, and got help from Dovetails and West Country Butchers.

Last year his nan passed away and Nick took some time away from the area.

However, he found it much tougher on the streets in Torquay, and says he was even mugged at knife point.

In January he returned to Chard, and that was when everything changed.

“I knew the people at Dovetails from before, so I popped in to see if there was a bit of work,” said Nick.

“It was when I was looking for work that someone set up the GoFundMe page.

“It was like a whirlwind. I am still struggling with how quickly it has happened. I feel really overwhelmed by it.

“I just want to get on with my life, and this town has given me the chance to do it.”

The fundraising site was set up by Tanzy Cronshey.

She said: “I first saw Nick sat alone reading a book with a torch and just a thin sleeping bag near my work at 7pm in the freezing cold.

“I thought about him all the way home and even told my partner I wanted to help him.

“So the next day I donated some money for a room which was the least I could do.

“This then turned into a GoFundMe page, which then raised nearly £600.”

Although it was originally to pay for a B&B, Nick wanted the cash to get him into more permanent residence.

It was at this point that Daniel Buckley got in touch.

Daniel owns Zest Properties South West and told the News he saw a Facebook post saying that Nick was homeless.

The company runs shared housing properties and was able to waive Nick’s deposit.

This means all the money donated has gone on rent and given him a home until at least the middle of March.

On Nick’s insistence, he never touched any of the money, and it went straight from the GoFundMe account to his new landlord.

While he has continued to work odd jobs in the town, Nick hopes for something permanent soon, and Daniel has supported him in exploring a new line of business.

Nick added: “Everybody just seems to keep up with the help. I keep getting work offered here and there.

“I like cleaning ovens and I am good at it. I did it for my landlord Daniel and now he is looking at getting me to do all the properties he has.

“I lost my driving licence seven years ago because of the drinking, so we are looking at getting that back, and then Dan thinks I might be able to set it up as a business.”

When struggling in Torquay, Nick said he had reached rock bottom – but moving back to Chard has given him hope.

“I just want to say thank you to everyone, to Dovetails, to Eleos, to West Country Butchers, and to Daniel,” he said.

“I was over the road by the dance studio and Mandy from Eleos gave me a cup of tea and said ‘when you are ready there is some food waiting for you inside’.

“I go in for breakfast and it is so kind of them too. They don’t have to do that and it comes out of their pockets.

“There are some really genuine and kind people in this town.”