"Fly High Paddy"
Updated: Oct 2, 2020
RIP March 2020 Age 32
This blog is in memory of a special guy who died this year. Paddy lived rough for many years and sadly died not long after going in to accommodation this year.
September 2018 was the first time I met David Foster AKA "PADDY". Eira Evans ( District Nurse Sister) and I (DT - Community Nurse) joined a 24 hour sleep out in Cardiff to raise funds to feed the homeless, we met Julie the lead for the voluntary group-Hope for the Homeless and her team. Paddy was a constant throughout the 24 hours he helped sell the Homeless Hope ribbon and raised many a laugh with all of us in doing so. The attitudes of the public and the way they looked down upon him and the other rough sleepers and ourselves for trying to help, was disgusting and something I felt I had to address. The first thing that struck me about him was how much he wanted to help the guys on the street, as if he almost felt that he needed to give to them before he took for himself. This was something that was echoed later in the evening when a kind member of the public brought a bag to us filled with McDonalds burgers, Paddy made sure everyone including the volunteers had something before he took one for himself.
On our first foot health day and every successive event there after, Paddy would come to meet us and help us carry all the donations to the set up point. He would then take his place on the food and drink stall ensuring that people only took enough for themselves. Paddy would watch the donations go out all day often spotting something for someone and sending them over to try it on. It was always at the end of the day that paddy may have asked for socks or hygiene products only ever taking what he could use. Paddy would also never let the nurses see his feet stating on many occasions "I can look after mine, you look after the others" and often letting us know who we needed to see most.
Paddy was no angel, he had his own demons which he battled deeply with. He fought with street life in every sense of the word, made enemies and forever friends who miss him dearly. He was known by all the rough sleepers, the services and voluntary groups alike and love him or hate him he made a massive impact on people.
To us at Homeless Hope he was a friend, someone we all looked for when we went out and someone that we all in one way or another connected with and I speak for us all when I say he will be missed.
In memory of Paddy we have added a Blue Heart to our Homeless Hope street tee-shirts and hoodies as a symbol of how much he meant to us. Paddy was never invisible to us and neither are those left behind. Fly high our friend.