Generosity of Peterborough businessmen helps city's rough sleepers


The Garden House

Mortgage and protection advisers Lee Gathercole and Neezam Romjon set up Rebus more than two years ago with the aim of helping people move onto the property ladder.

And for the past six months the school friends turned entrepreneurs have been donating £15 to the Safer off the Streets partnership every time they help one of their clients into a home or switch their current mortgage to a new deal.

The multi-agency partnership, which launched in 2018, is made up of voluntary, religious and community organisations, including Peterborough City Council.

It offers wide-ranging support to rough sleepers, in particular through the Garden House in the Cathedral Precincts where they can be aided into long-term accommodation.

The Garden House is run by Light Project Peterborough and guests there can receive much-needed support from housing officers, GPs, drug and alcohol specialists, a chiropodist, hairdressers and other professionals.

Lee and Neezam, who have so far raised £1,200, said: “We grew up in Peterborough and have such a strong affinity towards the city, so we are determined to give something back.

“Our business is aimed at helping Peterborough residents buy their first or next home, so the values of Safer off the Streets really appealed to us.

“Having seen first-hand the brilliant work carried out by staff and volunteers at the Garden House we know every penny donated will help get people off the streets and hopefully into a home of their own, giving them a chance to turn their lives around.”

Christine Graham, chair of Safer off the Streets, said: “Ever since it launched Safer off the Streets has played a vital role in helping hundreds of rough sleepers.

“There are many reasons why people end up sleeping rough and they often have complex needs which require a multi-agency approach to supporting them, something the partnership can offer.

“The donations made by Lee and Neezam will help the partnership continue its incredibly important work in aiding as many people as possible into long-term accommodation, and I am extremely grateful for their generosity.”

Cllr Steve Allen, council cabinet member for housing, culture and communities, said: “The donations made by Lee and Neezam will make a huge difference to the lives of rough sleepers in Peterborough, and for that I am really grateful.

“It’s great to see two Peterborians with such a strong affinity to the city wanting to give something back to help those in need of support.”

Donations to Safer off the Streets can be made by visiting: