By Lucy Wilson
Sheffield man Anthony dedicates his life to helping the city’s most vulnerable people – including the homeless, prostitutes and domestically abused.
30-year-old Anthony Cunningham, from Totley, was ‘tired’ of Sheffield’s most vulnerable being ignored. “It really grew on me,” he says, “it felt like no one was doing anything.”
During his early days helping the homeless, Anthony began to recognise other issues that surround Sheffield and began to focus on wider issues that people faced. “All problems come under one umbrella, so I thought, why just focus on one?” He says.
From personal experience, Anthony understands how people end up in these bad situations. “I was brought up in Park Hill, which was a rough area,” he says. “I had a problem with drink and I mixed with the wrong people, so doing this has really cleared my head and given me focus.”
“It’s time to kick down doors.”
Not only does Anthony work independently, he also works alongside Sheffield’s homeless charity Cathedral Archer Project. “I’m not one of those people who will sit in a meeting for weeks to decide what action we’re going to take,” says the father of four. “It’s time to kick down doors.”
Anthony spends nights on the streets where he comes into contact with the “nitty-gritty” side of Sheffield. “I can show you Sheffield’s crack houses, the prostitutes – the young girls who are coked up 24/7,” he says. “I can show you the world where a solicitor has lost everything and has ended up on the street.”
One situation that shocked Anthony was when he came into contact with a homeless woman with osteoporosis. Being evicted and unable to claim health benefits, the woman was put into a homeless shelter. After visiting her, Anthony was ashamed of the poor conditions that she was left in. “I wouldn’t even leave my dog in there,” he says.
“You don’t always have to throw money at these people, just offer a moment of your time,” he says. “These people are just falling through the cracks and being forgotten about.”
To raise funds, Anthony and London Road’s Caribbean Spice owner, Kev, aim to host a ‘Food Lovers‘ event at the Curzon theatre on May 21. A ticket for £35 will provide guests with a taste of the Caribbean and a night of entertainment. Each ticket bought will provide a meal for the homeless and will raise money to help mustard seed orphanage in Kingston, Jamaica.
Not only does Anthony hope to raise money to carry on his work with Sheffield’s most vulnerable, he hopes that others will join in. “A lot of people are starting to notice me and are wanting jump on board,” says Anthony. “I’ve started something now that has to be carried on for the foreseeable future.”
Contact Anthony through Twitter @ or to buy a ticket call 07824 648585