Norwich ice cream man produces gesture to melt the hearts
- Credit: Submitted
In sunny weather it is normally the job of the ice cream man to help people cool down.
However, recently, one decided to cool the body and warm the spirits, with a heart-melting gesture.
On a sweltering July day, Gary Butcher, who runs the Ice Cream Parlour on Norwich Market, decided to help homeless people in Norwich cope with the heat, by offering free ice creams and water for an hour.
The 53-year-old, who is in his fourth year running the stall, says he was just doing his bit to help people less fortunate.
He said: 'I'm very passionate about helping the homeless - if I see somebody sleeping rough I'll often buy them cup of tea, so this was my way of doing something else.
You may also want to watch:
'It doesn't cost me a great deal to do and the everybody was very grateful for it.'
Mr Butcher was inspired to make the gesture after growing exasperated with attitudes towards rough sleepers among some people.
- 1 Missing man found by off-duty police officer
- 2 £5m roadworks on A47 cause delays - and months more to come
- 3 Man jailed for 24 years for raping and sexually assaulting two girls
- 4 Three Norfolk hotels named among the best for romance in the UK
- 5 Village rounds on council over 'disgraceful' road resurfacing that covered cycle lanes and blocked drains
- 6 Man charged after cannabis factory and 300 plants found above pizza takeaway
- 7 Norfolk campsite voted third best in UK
- 8 Road cleared after three-vehicle collision on A47
- 9 Early hours arrests as part of 'ongoing police investigation'
- 10 Pub boss struggling to recruit ahead of lockdown lifting
He added: 'I've been appalled by the way some people act towards homeless people, when really all of us could be just a second away from sleeping on the streets.
'You never know when you could end up a victim of circumstances - it could happen to anybody.'
Mr Butcher hopes his gesture will make people think more about the plight of those without a home.
'I don't think people think enough about what it must be like to have to sleep on the streets,' he said.
'I do not think I could sleep rough - it must be especially difficult in the winter.'
While Mr Butcher's stall does not open in the winter, he is pleased he can do his part in the summer months.
'I worry particularly about the dogs,' he said. 'I'm a big dog person, which is why I also gave away water.'
The stall owner did not rule out further giveaways in future, saying people just need to 'look out for the sign'.
Do you have a charitable story? Email firstname.lastname@example.org