CCCU graduate starts fundraiser for a homeless man and his dog

An ex-student from Canterbury Christ Church University have started an online fundraiser page to help support a local vagrant in the city.

Anna Woodfield, 22, who graduated this year joined with other members of the community in Canterbury to serve this common cause.

The man, only known as John and in his 50s, and his little scruffy dog, named Buffy sit under Westgate Towers on Pound Lane.

The duo picked up attention after they were featured in multiple posts on Canterbury Residents Group, on Facebook.

Recently, a CCCU student set up a GoFundMe page to donate money to John with an original goal of £1,000, however this was lowered to £100 after it was found that John does not have a bank account and could face danger with that amount of money on his person.

Helen Godman, Timothy Playfair and Louise McCorry also worked on setting up the campaign.

So far, the campaign has already raised £130 and is trending online.

If you would like to donate to John and Buffy, click here.

John and his little scruffy dog, Buffy. Photo by: Photography by Nadia Volpe, Facebook.

“John was probably the one genuine guy we met”

Anna said: “So in June, Nadia and I wanted to use our photographic skills to photograph the homeless of Canterbury and tell their story – sort of like a ‘Humans of New York’ series.

“We went around photographing the homeless – John was probably the one genuine guy we met.

“As a photographer who is interested in charity work, I wanted to imitate Brandon’s [creator of ‘Humans of New York’ series] work as I love it and that’s why I did it with the homeless in Canterbury.

“Kind of merging my two loves, photography and helping people.”

John told the graduates that he had been on the street for approximately 15 years – his sweet little pooch Buffy, who had her 10th birthday this November.

Unified contacted Catching Lives the homeless charity in Canterbury, who confirmed that they do accept people with dogs, and also have occasional donations of dog food.

World Homeless Day was on October 10th this year and if you would like to find out how you can get involved then click here, alternatively, Catching Lives created ‘Harbledown Hope’, a story book to generate funds for their charity last year  that was illustrated by their residents, which is inexpensive and available for purchase here.

When out taking photographs, Nadia Volpe (who photographed alongside) and Anna gave out food – but John was after something else.

Nadia said: “We were giving out food and clothes when we met them. John seemed so down to earth and kind. He said he got refused help because he had a dog.

“All John asked for as well, which not many people consider as much as food, was some fresh socks and underwear. So I went to a shop to buy them for him, but it was such a simple thing, imagine if we could raise money and provide him with those basics?

She continued: “Surely if we can do some more to help those like John who are genuinely kind and honest, it’ll make Canterbury a better and safer place for them.

“It’s coming up to winter now so they’ll be super cold, I did food runs in the winter last year and I was  freezing – imagine them!”

Canterbury City Council stated that they would never refuse to help those who are homeless with dogs, and would always look for pet-friendly accommodation for those with a furry friend.

“It’ll make Canterbury a better and safer place for them.”

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Brittany Tijou-Smith

Brittany is a third year Multimedia Journalism student, her work has been featured on KentLive and KentOnline. Her filming work also won ‘Documentary of the Year 2018’ at Canterbury Christ Church University.

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