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Mystery donor pays for £25,000 rough sleeper bus after daily’s appeal

A mystery benefactor donated £25,000 to pay for a place for homeless people to sleep after an appeal in a regional daily.

The anonymous donor came forward after reading a story in the Colchester Daily Gazette about plans to buy a bus to keep rough sleepers off the streets.

The Colchester Rough Sleepers Group had planned for a year of fundraising to raise the cash needed for the specially designed bus, called Chariot 180.

But thanks to the donation, the group can push forward with its plans now.

News of the gesture provided a splash for the Gazette yesterday.

Colchester bus

Gazette head of content Dominic Bowers told HTFP: “Homelessness is a big issue for our readers and we have highlighted the work of Chariot 180 and other organisations in our town over the last few months.

“We ran a story in early December outlining the group’s plans to become a charity and its bid to raise £25,000. We had floated the idea of running a fundraising campaign with the organisers but they asked us to hold off.

“Our chief reporter, Ryan Jennings, has been building a relationship with Chariot 180 and we were delighted to hear a benefactor had come forward after reading the Gazette’s coverage.

“We look forward to reporting on the success of Chariot 180’s bus and continuing the raise the profile of homelessness.”

Simon Crow, a spokesman for CRSG, said: “This incredible act of generosity came out of the blue after recent coverage of our plans in the Gazette and has stunned and delighted us all.”