MORE THAN £800 has been raised in donations for a fund in memory of homeless man Dale James, whose funeral was held last week.
And more than 50 people turned out to pay their respects to Mr James, a former GEC Alstom publicity officer who died at the age of 55 in a Cannock nursing home earlier this month.
Money from the fund will be used to help vulnerable and homeless people find accommodation by loaning them the money for a deposit on rented housing.
Mr James spent his final years living rough on the streets of Stafford after suffering a long decline in health due to the after-effects of a brain tumour.
He was fed and looked after by the House of Bread charity, which also organised his funeral and traced his family and former friends and colleagues. House of Bread director Will Morris, who conducted the service, said it was a celebration of Mr James' life and included some of his favourite songs, including The Hollies' He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother.
"It was a real joy to find out some of the details of Dale's life from his friends and it turned the service into a wonderful occasion," Mr Morris said.
"And the generous donations we have received will make for a lasting legacy in his memory, and go some way to help his remaining family feel that a positive outcome has been reached from his sad story.
"We are delighted that Stafford folk have been part of the celebration of Dale's life and thank all involved for their gift of time and donations."
Mourners included representatives from borough and county council staff, plus borough councillor Ann Edgeller, past and present Alstom staff, and nurses and carers from the nursing home where Mr James spent his last days.
Readers also attended having seen the Newletter article about Mr James.
Mr Morris also thanked Co-op Funeral Services for their support and kindness and local firm Counter Print, which donated the order of service.
Donations can be sent to House of Bread, 52 Stone Road, Stafford ST16 2RL.