Kind Sab offering unique refuge for the homeless

A dad is changing the lives of homeless people after his friend’s death inspired him to build mobile shelters for them.

Friday, 15th March 2019, 8:50 am
Updated Friday, 15th March 2019, 10:03 am
The shelter

Sab Willerton, who grew up in Hindley, said he decided to start his mission when a friend took his own life shortly after losing his job and his home.

The 38-year-old, who now lives in Bexhill-on-sea, is the nephew of Susan Young who was raped and killed by neighbour Jimmy Lang in Hindley in 1970.

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Sab Willerton, right, and Tommy Lake who took possession of the first shelter

After going travelling in his teens, Sab ended up forging a new life for himself in the small seaside town in the South East.

Sab, who is now a builder, came up with the idea of homeless shelter while he was reflecting on his friend’s death just a few weeks ago.

“It just dawned on me,” he said.

“I’ve got all this material from work and I had this idea to build these shelters.

“We can all identify that there is a serious problem but not enough people have the time or resource to make a substantial difference or contribution.

“Therefore, I took it upon myself to start doing what I’m doing.

“In my spare time - along with a new-born baby and full time work - I started working on a project creating and making mobile homeless shelters and giving them away to help genuine people who are in need of a place to sleep and keep personal items safe.”

It may not be luxury living and bears passing resemblance to a kennel, but it is far preferable to rough sleeping under cardboard or wet sleeping bags, especially in the current wet, windy and wintry weather.

His first mobile shelter was handed over to a homeless man called Tommy Lake in his hometown at the weekend.

Sab added: “Hopefully this will help Tommy realise that the world isn’t as bad a place as he may have thought and that there are genuinely nice people out there in the world that want to help.”

But the new dad is not stopping there.

He is planning to open a workshop, providing the mobile shelters to communities around the country with homelessness issues.

Following the death of his gran, Hindley resident Audrey Young, Sab now only has a brother who lives in the borough.

He said that he aims for his creation to make it more than 250 miles back to where he grew up.

“I would like this go national,” he said.

“The chance of them being brought to Wigan is highly likely.”