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Homeless charity hopes to bring converted bus to Norwich

PUBLISHED: 15:04 27 November 2018 | UPDATED: 08:29 28 November 2018

Eric Hewson, founder of homeless charity the Harvey Lewis Appeal, holding a Kit Bag, which includes toiletries and a sleeping bag for vulnerable people.

Eric Hewson, founder of homeless charity the Harvey Lewis Appeal, holding a Kit Bag, which includes toiletries and a sleeping bag for vulnerable people.

Archant

A Norwich man who set up a charity after the death of his friend hopes to bring a converted double-decker bus to the city as a shelter for homeless people.

Harvey Lewis pictured with Ed Sheeran, whose songs he played one night on guitar, helping to fill a homeless man's hat with coins.Harvey Lewis pictured with Ed Sheeran, whose songs he played one night on guitar, helping to fill a homeless man's hat with coins.

Eric Hewson, 27, from Hellesdon, has been working with the homeless for the past seven years. On Thursday nights he distributes food donated by local businesses around the city.

The bus, currently in London and owned by the Ark Project, a Christian charity, is a former double-decker that has been refurbished with ten sleeping pods, one staff bedroom, seating for eight and a kitchen. Mr Hewson said he is in talks with Norwich City Council about where to park the bus. If successful in his bid, at least three members of staff will be required.

In January, Mr Hewson set up a charity named in honour of his friend, Harvey Lewis Truswell, a local photographer and videographer who died last year.

Mr Hewson said that his friend, who was 23, had also wanted to work with homeless people.

Harvey Lewis playing guitar on a Norwich street. His friend, Eric Hewson, has set up a charity in his name and hopes to bring a converted London bus to Norwich as a shelter for homeless people.Harvey Lewis playing guitar on a Norwich street. His friend, Eric Hewson, has set up a charity in his name and hopes to bring a converted London bus to Norwich as a shelter for homeless people.

A former student of City College and City Academy, Mr Truswell had worked with acts such as Rudimental, Major Lazer and Chase and Status, and was also known on the local music scene, working with up-and-coming artists, as well as working as a club photographer.

The Harvey Lewis Appeal provides food to homeless people in Norwich.

Mr Hewson, who also runs a marketing company, was put into care when he was ten years old. He spent four years in Birmingham, where he started working in a soup kitchen, and when he returned to Norwich he continued that kind of work.

He has been planning to buy the bus for a year and has agreed a price of £15,000.

Mr Hewson and Mr Truswell had met six years ago through a mutual friend and sometimes travelled the country together taking photographs. Mr Hewson said that his friend had spoken of big plans for assisting Norwich’s homeless people.

He described one Christmas in the city when Mr Truswell saw a homeless man playing an out-of-tune guitar. Mr Truswell said, “Trust me,” and reached out for the guitar, tuned it and played some Ed Sheeran songs. Crowds gathered and the homeless man’s hat filled with coins. Mr Truswell handed the guitar back to the homeless man, who said thank you, and Mr Truswell replied, No, thank you for trusting me.

To find out more and to donate, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/the-10-sleeper-homeless-bus-for-norwich

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