A crowdfunding campaign set up to help a homeless man who was stabbed in Headingley in the early hours of Saturday has raised over £2,000 in less than three days.
The plight of Dean Ward, 40, - known as Wardie - has touched the hearts of people across the city after he was attacked outside Sainsbury’s on Otley Road at 1.20am.
Friends said he suffered multiple stab wounds and his nose was partially cut off in the attack but he is now recovering at St James’ Hospital and is said to be amazed at the support.
Becky Joyce, 43, who set up the crowdfunding page, said: “Everyone is behind him, I have had thousands of messages, it’s really cheering him up - he’s starting to feel a bit like a celebrity...I’m taking gifts down everyday from people who just want to help. I can’t believe the response we’ve been getting.”
Becky, of Moortown, and her children, Naomi, nine, and Georgia, 11, have been helping the homeless in Headingley for the past eight months after getting involved with the Feed Leeds Homeless Project in the city centre.
“We were all heartbroken when we heard. I set up the page immediately.
“Obviously he’s got no stuff, and the police had taken his clothes, so I did an appeal on Facebook and some people donated money so I went to buy a tracksuit for him.
“But I thought I’ll set up a justgiving page. I didn’t expect at all for this amount of money. We’ve had to up the total to £3,000. He’s thrilled. I think it’s really helping his recovery.”
Becky - who will have control of the money raised - hopes to use it to set Wardie up in housing once he is out of hospital. She said: “It’s terrible what’s happened to him but this will change his life. For three years I have been trying to get people involved. It’s sad that it’s taken something like this for people to sit up and actually do something but I think it’s brilliant.”
To donate, visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/support-wardie.
Police are still appealing for witnesses to the incident to contact Leeds District CID on 101 or alternatively, phone Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Ramounas Zykovas, 22, from Headingley, has been charged with attempted murder in relation to the incident. He was due to appear at Leeds Magistrates’ Court on Monday.