A Herne Bay bus driver has raised over £300 for a local homelessness charity.
Terry Clowes, collected donations from passengers over Christmas for the Canterbury based charity, Catching Lives. The 49 year old grandfather known as 'Santa Clowes' during the festive period, swapped his Stagecoach uniform for a homemade Father Christmas outfit.
Terry, who has driven buses for over 14 years, wanted to support the local charity to help raise awareness about rough sleeping and the struggles of homeless people. Terry said "I think we can all play our part in helping reduce homelessness. It's a people thing, and we all have a stake in our community to help lift others who have fallen on hard times."
Over £150 pounds was raised in the run up to Christmas from the collection on Terry's Christmas bus. Stagecoach stumped up a further £150 to match the amount raised, bringing the total to £312. The cheque was presented to Catching Lives Fundraising manager Mick James last week.
Mick said, “I’d like to thank Terry and all the staff at Stagecoach for all they did over Christmas for Catching Lives, not only for raising much needed funding for us but also raising awareness of the work we do for the homeless in Canterbury. The pictures we posted of Terry in his Santa outfit on our social media really captured everybody’s imagination with people commenting that they’d seen him and waved as he passed. I’m looking forward to see if Terry makes a new outfit for next year!”
Catching Lives works towards ending the harm caused to individuals, families and the community, by homelessness, rough sleeping and insecure housing. Mick James said, "We offer immediate respite at our project in Canterbury: the Canterbury Open Centre. In addition to this, we work with our clients to help them to tackle any issues that they may have, get access to suitable accommodation and find the motivation to take steps towards personal recovery and independent living."