A FORMER homeless man, who has now turned his life around, will spend 12 days living back on the streets to raise money and awareness for a homeless charity.
Michael McCheyne, 24, of Hill Street, Stapenhill, will live rough in either Birmingham or London during December to raise money for the YMCA in Burton.
He will also make a video diary of the experience using a video camera which he hopes will bring home to realities of living on the streets.
“I’m going to be very nervous and worried - but also I’m also very excited,” Mr McCheyne said.
“I will be dropped off with my camcorder and see how it goes.”
Mr McCheyne, who said he has also served three prison terms, now works as a voluntary outreach worker with people served with anti-social behaviour orders.
He told the Mail: “The YMCA helped me when I was homeless.
“I had a rough upbringing and have been in prison but now I’ve turned my life around.
“I take part in education programmes in secondary schools where I talk to pupils about my experiences.
“If I can make people realise that home can be a pillar of strength and being on the streets is hard than that’s me making a difference.
“I want to show the younger generation that there is a path they can follow and that home is the best place for them to be.”
Mr McCheyne said one trick he learnt while living on the streets was to order food from takeaways just before they closed.
He would leave before the food was ready and wait behind the back of the premises and take the food when it was thrown away.
He added that since turning his life around, the YMCA has also helped him to form the Christian rock band called Nu-Lite.
Anyone who wants to donate to his challenge can do so by visiting the YMCA’s Reconnect centre in James Street, Burton.
The YMCA helps struggling families and rough sleepers. It runs food banks at its centre in James Street and in Grove Street, Swadlincote.