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Sister Thanks "Guardian Angels" for Saving Brother's Life

By Published June 09, 2021

"HE is safe now."

Those were the heart-warming words of a loving sister who made a cross-country dash to find her brother who had fallen on hard times and was sleeping rough in Middlesbrough but is now turning his life around.

Victoria, from Gloucestershire, today credited Middlesbrough Council Neighbourhood Safety Officers with saving the life of her little brother Matthew.

The 56-year-old told how her adopted brother, now 51, had enjoyed a career as a chef before developing a growing drink problem and a chaotic lifestyle which eventually led to him losing his latest accommodation in Middlesbrough in March.

Having kept contact with family sporadically he called his brother and told him what had happened. The brother then contacted Victoria - on her birthday of all days - to pass on the news.

She said: "My other brother rang and he was on the phone for ages before he said ‘I didn't want to spoil your birthday but Matthew is homeless and sleeping rough in Middlesbrough.

"Fortunately Matthew had said the word ‘Sainsbury's'. I'd never even been to Middlesbrough before but the next day I came up on my own and parked in the Sainsbury's in the middle of town after a four-and-a-half hour drive - it might not have even been that one for all I knew.

"I spoke to a couple of staff there and they were helpful and pointed out the places where Matthew might be.

"I couldn't find him so I saw the Bus Station was nearby and thought that would be sheltered so I should go there and that's where I met Andy Treloare and the guys and they were brilliant."

As it turned out the Middlesbrough Council Neighbourhood Safety workers had often tried to help Matthew and had an idea where they might find him.

And after a short hunt between the A66 and Sainsbury's brother and sister were soon reunited - although it was a "sad and sorry sight", said Victoria.

After a welfare check with Matthew the wardens asked if he'd be happy to go with his sister to her home in Gloucestershire to which he readily agreed.

Two months later and Matthew has been alcohol-free ever since, he is eating well and has moved towards a healthy weight, he is helping his sister with her gardening and is even returning to his chef skills by preparing meals for her return home from work.

He has also gained employment alongside his sister working in maintenance at the local garden centre while the family are hoping following his recuperation they can help him get back to work and his own accommodation.

Victoria - who says if she hadn't found her brother that day there is a good chance he would not be with us now - was also pleased to receive a call from the Middlesbrough Council team asking how Matthew was getting on.

She added: "They knew Matthew and he knew them - they had his best interests at heart and he saw them as his guardian angels looking after him.

"They were brilliant, really helpful, very approachable - absolutely brilliant. They are an absolute credit to themselves, whoever trained them, to Middlesbrough and the Council."

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: "I'm absolutely overwhelmed by this story. We know our wardens will always help anyone in need but the outcome of this - to hear Victoria say she feared without their help her brother might not be with us - really brings these issues home.

"I'd like to praise everyone who showed Victoria what a friendly place Middlesbrough is, from our wardens and the staff at Sainsbury's and to Victoria herself whose mercy mission has helped Matthew massively. I wish them well and hope Matthew's recovery continues so positively."


Read 16 times Last modified on Wednesday, 09 June 2021 13:43
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