Kind-hearted residents give homeless couple a place to stay this Christmas
A HOMELESS couple living in a tent in Pittville Park will have a roof over their heads on Christmas Day thanks to the kindness of strangers.
For the last six weeks, 29-year-old Cathy Johnson and her 38-year-old partner Lee Simms have been camping under a tree on Pittville Lawn, having become homeless after losing their jobs.
Now, the pair are to be brought out of the December weather to spend Christmas Eve and Day at The Red Lion Inn in Chipping Campden, after the pub's new owners made the kind offer.
Cathy said: "During the day on Christmas Eve I'm going to be selling the Big Issue, and then hopefully we'll be going to the Red Lion in the evening. It'll be brilliant."
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Other members of the public, wanting to help the pair after reading about their plight in the Echo, have come forward too, said Cathy, who has been selling the Big Issue magazine in town and slowly putting her earnings towards a deposit so that her, Lee, and their dog, Storm can rent a place.
"A girl who lives just up the road from us put us up on Friday night, and cooked us dinner," Cathy said.
"I've been able to have a shower, and she also gave me some clean socks and made us some bacon sandwiches on Saturday morning.
"She said that she'd seen the tent there, but had never had the courage to come over and speak to us, because she didn't know what to expect. She hadn't realised we were a couple until she saw us in the paper. People are afraid of what they don't know, aren't they."
The couple were featured in the Echo on Friday after they were served an eviction notice from Cheltenham Borough Council, which stated that the couple must leave Pittville Park "without delay" by December 6.