Tony Jeffs Pathway’s dedicated Vocational Tutor –
In an age where people are often too busy to help, this man showed uplifting kindness and compassion to a stranger…and may well have saved his life”.
That’s West Midlands Police Commander Emma Barnett on big-hearted Anthony Jeffs who’s been honoured by the force for his benevolence in providing tea and sympathy to a man he encountered living rough on his daily commute.
Anthony, from Castle Bromwich, noticed the man several times perched on a barrier as he cycled to work along the A47 Nechells Parkway last October.
Initially the 54-year-old − who unbeknown to Anthony had been reported missing from his Nechells home − rebuffed his approaches but later opened up when he offered flasks of hot tea, food and cigarettes.
Anthony said: “I would drop the flasks and food off on my way to work and collect them on the way back…he wasn’t begging or asking for help, but cut a very forlorn figure. After a weekend of particularly wet and cold weather I could see he was shivering and soaked through.
“I wanted to help out and he eventually confided in me that he was experiencing financial trouble and was worried about losing his flat. So I spent time contacting support agencies to try and get him help.”
Anthony, a college tutor, discovered a man matching the rough sleeper’s description had been reported missing to West Midlands Police on September 29.
Armed with the new information Birmingham West & Central Police officers found the man on October 14 and were able to get him the support he needed.
And on Tuesday (July 21) Anthony received a Chief Constable’s Good Citizen’s Award from West Midlands Police top cop Chris Sims.
Chief Superintendent Emma Barnett, said: “The man disappeared from home and there was no indication where he’d gone…officers had made enquiries with friends and family but there were no new leads.
We recently struck a deal with UK charity Missing People that promises swift support for the families of people who’ve disappeared and a co-ordinated approach to help find loved ones.
Well done Tony!