James Hilling is a Mando Solutions operator working as a Traffic Banksman in South Wales. When James isn’t working hard on site during the week, he has spent 10 years dedicating his spare time to helping the homeless by working with various charities, setting up his own clothing line and a food bank named Wuwu.
James is a community activist who works alongside a number of projects, including The Ark Project. The Ark Project is a charity that provides a 10-bed mobile night shelter to addicts and rough sleepers. The shelter provides up to 10 days of shelter and support to those who require it; in the bus, they receive a shower, fresh clothes, food and support with finding housing, work and rehabilitation. James and other workers at the Ark Project act as guardians and offer protection to them. They treat the services users like their family, taking them on day activities and out for meals.
Having been in care and homeless for a number of years, James says his ‘motive is simple… I will always look to support where I can’. He understands the importance of the project and the support of a ‘family-based environment’ in helping the homeless. He also handles public relations for the project, having many contacts through music to gain support from celebrities.
The project has now been running for 10 months and has a network of volunteers who are able to offer incredible support to vulnerable people. James is not an ‘activist’ in the sense that he is a protester or part of a political movement, but ensures that his life work is dedicated to fighting for health and safety rights for rough sleepers. He and his Ark Project colleague, Michael, have won numerous community-based awards in recent years.
If you’re interested in reading more about the project or wish to support it, please us the following links:
Project Website: Www.caap.org.uk
Instagram – thearkproject.reading