A DAD-OF-TWO has set himself the challenge to sleep on the streets of St Helens for a week in aid of homeless charity Teardrops.

Horrified at the treatment and amount of homeless on the streets, locksmith Sam Neil from West Park decided to take action.

Not content with talking to the people on the streets and visiting them in Teardrops Homeless Support Hub on Crab Street, Sam has set himself the challenge to live alongside them for a week to raise funds and awareness.

The 38-year-old said: "Homelessness is a huge problem, not a problem with the people on the streets, but our idea of what it is.

"These people need help, I've spoken to one man who has been hanging around with a friend for years, only to have him die next to him in the night from hyperthermia.

"That's what's happening on our streets and even though it does scare me, I have decided to put myself out there and spend a week on the streets, sleeping rough to raise awareness of what they go through and raise funds for Teardrops while I'm doing it."

Sam will also be selling items and offering advice to people during the week and collecting change for Teardrops throughout the week.

St Helens Star:

Sam added: "They are homeless, not hopeless and they need our help, there's 300,000 of them in this country and it's not right.

"Not enough is being done to help them, so we have to help them ourselves.

"I hope people who see me and the homeless can come over have a chat, help if you can or just give us a brew.

"I've also put together a survival kit to help prevent these people from freezing to death.

"The kit has been well researched and I have fought and continue to fight to bring down the cost of the full kit which is currently £57.92.

"In the kit, you will notice a black hold-all, and everything else fits into it which is a waterproof two-man tent, a four-season sleeping bag, panic alarm, camping mat, head torch, inflatable camping pillow, waterproof raincoat, thermal gloves, thermal hat, camping stool, and first aid kit.

"This will enable the homeless to protect themselves by protecting the few belongings they have.

"I have read in the papers about homeless people's sleeping bags etc being set on fire or being urinated on and it’s disgusting.

"This is why I am taking such an extreme measure because we need to raise awareness and start to fix this problem that is growing."

Sam is also climbing Mount Snowdon tomorrow will his 13-year-old son Jacob and nephew Sam.

He will start his rough sleep week from Monday, November 25 and will only take his survival kit with him, meaning no money nor food.

To donate to Sam's fundraising go to teardrops.org.uk