A Tayside man has revisited one of the most difficult periods in his life to raise awareness of the region’s homeless problem.
Robert Wilson, 60, was part of the Andy’s Man Club group which took part in the rough sleeping event, organised by Churches Action For The Homeless, which drew attention to the plight of the homeless in Perth.
The event, outside historic St John’s Kirk in the centre of Perth, was less than a mile from where Robert used to sleep rough.
“I used to bed down under a bridge in the centre of Perth. I did so for six weeks. It is an experience I will never forget and not one I am keen to experience again,” said Robert.
“Through no fault of my own I was homeless so had no option but to sleep under the stars. It was a desperate time in my life and so I can appreciate how others feel who are homeless.
“I now have a roof over my head and am grateful for that.
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with Evening Telegraph newsletter
“I’m not the only one who has slept rough and, sadly, it still happens, even in a so-called affluent city like Perth.
“I was happy to sleep out with other guys from Andy’s Man Club and other groups as doing things like this raises the plight of the homeless.”
After sleeping under the bridge, Robert managed to get a berth at Anchor House in Perth’s Crieff Road and he is grateful for all the help he has had from support workers there.
He said: “Being taken into Anchor House was a step in my recovery.
“It was a foot on the ladder of getting away from being on the streets. Being at Andy’s Man Club has seen me taking a huge step forward in my life.
“The club helps people going through dark times and the support given is unbelieveable.
“I’ve been involved since February and Jim Mackie, one of the club facilitators, has been a lifesaver for me.”
If you have issues with homelessness, get in touch with your local council.
The housing and homelessness charity Shelter can also give advice and support, and can be reached on the free housing advice helpline on 0808 800 4444.
To find out about Andy’s Man’s Club, visit the organisation’s website.
For more information about the support Anchor House provides, click here.