A former homeless man is returning to the streets with his family to help others without a roof over their heads this Christmas.
Kenneth Masterson, 41, a recovering alcoholic, from Bamber Bridge – who has been in trouble with the law – says he has served his time in jail, turned his life around and now wants to give something back.
Kenneth and his family will hand out sleeping bags, warm jackets and serve up a big batch of hot pot at Winckley Square, Preston, on Boxing Day.
He hopes the act of kindness will also encourage the homeless to reach out to their loved ones and get their lives back on track.
He said: “I was inspired by my own experiences on the streets, Christmas is a time for family and I just want to give them the sense of family.
“I want to remind them about family and hopefully they will think about getting back in touch with their loved ones.
“People can be out on the streets because of family rifts and I just hope by doing this we can encourage them to heal those wounds and stop drinking before it is too late.
“I spent three weeks on the streets in 1992 but I got back through hard work, perseverance and the help of my family – now I want to help others.”
Kenneth was sentenced to five years in jail back in 2011 after ‘losing it’ in a pizza shop and wounding a man with intent.
Kenneth attacked the man for intervening in a row between him and his partner, leaving the Good Samaritan in a pool of blood after headbutting him to the ground and kicking him ‘like a football’.
After serving three years in jail Kenneth says he now wants to do something positive, and he and his wife Rhonda, 43, children and step-children Robbie McPherson, 15, Courtney McPherson, 16, Gabriella Masterson, 15, Kian Masterson, 10, and Reagan Masterson, six, are all preparing to put down their presents and experience the true meaning of Christmas by spending their Boxing Day helping others.
Kenneth’s mission has been helped by several charities and the barber will also be offering free haircuts.
He said: “We’ve been working closely with Preston probation to make sure that we are genuinely helping the homeless and not freeloaders.
“We want to help those who are truly in need and make a difference. I’ve got 20 thermal lined jackets that can keep them warm over the harsh winter months.
“We have got 40 sleeping bags and we are going to give them out to people living on the streets. I’m also taking a couple of shavers out so that if people want to be cleaned up they can be. We just want to help and share some festive cheer with those less fortunate.”