Kind-hearted cyclist helps a rough sleeper

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LYING under a few old blankets on a cycle path, this man sums up the plight of homeless people as they struggle to keep warm this Christmas.

The rough sleeper was spotted by a cyclist under the M27 bridge, and captured on video on the path near the Hilsea roundabout in Hilsea, Portsmouth, as the rider went to work.

Cyclist checks that a homeless man is OK

Cyclist checks that a homeless man is OK

At first the cameraman, using a video camera attached to a cycle helmet, went past thinking there was no-one underneath the blankets.

But a few moments later the cyclist decided to turn back in case there was.

After shaking the blankets a tired-looking man appeared and the cyclist decided to give him some money so he could eat.

The unknown rider posted the footage on YouTube under the name PompeyCycle.

The cyclist normally posts videos on the website of traffic seen on rides around Portsmouth.

The cyclist wrote on comments attached to the video: ‘I slept in a warm bed last night.

‘I had a meal last night and will have breakfast when I get to work.

‘(I thought) if that was a person he won’t... better go back.’

The video has attracted comments from people praising the rider for thinking of others less fortunate.

Homeless charities have also voiced their support.

Peter Holding, of Two Saints, which provides hostels for rough sleepers across Portsmouth, said: ‘I would commend anyone who takes an interest in a homeless person and decides to help them.

‘There are other ways of helping homeless people too, like pointing them in the direction of organisations which provide support and accommodation for them.

There are a lot of people in need on the streets of Portsmouth. It is particularly cold at the moment and we find our hostel in Portsmouth normally gets filled up around this time of the year.’

n Are you the cyclist? Contact reporter Miles O’Leary on (023) 9262 2169.