A HOMELESS hostel's chief executive has offered support to a rough sleeper who has been banned from begging.

Andy Lane, 35 and of no fixed address, was issued with a court order banning him from parts of Malvern by Worcester Magistrates Court on June 18, after reports of him persistently and aggressively begging.

He's also banned from loitering in the doorways of shops and homes across the district.

After hearing Andy's story, Jonathan Sutton, the chief executive of the St Paul’s Hostel in Tallow Hill, Worcester, said: “Our own, and services of others in the county, are open to him.

“These include access to employment, new skills, training, counselling, comfortable room, soft mattress, wholesome food, gardening, therapeutic garden, help with numeracy and literacy and support to make sure he’s got the right social service benefits.”

Mr Sutton, 47, also discussed the negative perception of his hostel by some people.

“For those who might say St Paul’s is ‘a terrible place’ then of course we are not perfect but we challenge you to come and see for yourself how our team have embraced Trauma Informed Care and how they have changed this place.

“The perpetual cycle of handouts at soup kitchens, unhealthy beige food, sleeping rough and begging can be broken.

“Everyone - including colleagues at West Mercia Police - want the best for Andy.”

Andy’s friend, Jai Teather, from Malvern, who has spent time living on the streets because of a decline in his mental health, said his mate was "at a very low point".

“I met with Andy yesterday and the first thing he said to me was that he can’t even sit down because of this order," said Jai, 43.

“What stops someone like Andy from engaging with support is that when you’re at a very low point, you feel everyone is against you.

“Some people in Malvern seem to be out to get him and if he sat down they’d photograph him and report him. He’s going to be hounded into an early grave.”

Mr Sutton added: “It’s everyone’s responsibility not to keep him stuck in a street based existence that will probably lead to his early death.

“The statistics are ominous. We need to encourage, pester him (relentlessly) and, if necessary, twist his arm to take up the offers of help.”