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Burger van owner is inspired by Swansea City's Angel Rangel to donate food to the homeless

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: January 21, 2013

Swansea City fan David Hopkin who runs a roadside burger van in Pontardawe

Comments (7)

A SWANSEA burger van man has been inspired by a city footballer to go out on the streets to help the homeless.

Kind-hearted David Hopkin decided to follow in the footsteps of Swans star Angel Rangel by going out on the bitterly cold weekend to support rough sleepers.

The 34-year-old, who runs his business from Parc Ynysderw, Pontardawe, said he also spurred into action following a feature on BBC One's The One Show.

Mr Hopkin said: "I was inspired by the Swansea City footballer Angel Rangel to go out on the streets on Saturday night to help the homeless. I thought it was a selfless act.

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"I was reading about him at the same time that The One Show on the BBC had a feature about keeping warm by eating fatty foods.

"I thought the best way to keep the homeless warm was by going out and offering them a free hot drink and a burger.

"I started off by phoning around shelters and Swansea Hope.

"I got chatting with a lot of wonderful people just by trying to find out what to do and where to go."

Mr Hopkin, from Gorseinon, placed an appeal to help him locate Swansea's homeless on Facebook. He added: "I must have made about 15 to 20 phone calls and hit a brick wall.

"I went down to Swansea with my van and went behind the YMCA and started searching the streets for the homeless. I couldn't find any so I went to Dinas Fechan which is based in The Strand in Swansea.

"Although they were taking people up to a church in Mumbles where they could have shelter, they were unable to supply food.

"I have struck a deal with them to supply them food each day."

Mr Hopkin was full of praise for the project along with organisations, including Outreach and Swansea Hope, for ensuring the homeless had somewhere to sleep for the night.

He said customers who had overheard him trying to help the homeless had given him extra cash along with items to give to those who needed them.

"I'm completely overwhelmed," he said. "I had a tear in my eye when one chap came out of nowhere and handed me £10 to cover the cost of giving the food.

"People have also started giving me jumpers and hooded tops to hand over to the homeless. I have had people donating items since Saturday."

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  • Taweformation  |  January 22 2013, 9:11AM

    OK so why shouldnt a business benefit from it? As long as people benefit from it then good for them. we are not talking mulitinational companies here, we are talking about a van that serves good food at a decent price and supports our community. Now grow up and let them get on with good things.

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  • Hedoken97842  |  January 21 2013, 10:29PM

    Taweformation You are wrong, there are people all over the local community who do things for people and you dont even know they exist. When I buy a homeless person a burger or a cup of tea, or some spare change, I dont expect to get publicity for my business for it, that would otherwise cost thousands. Businesses do this all the time, they find a well published story then piggy back on the back of it, we all know there are homeless hungry people in swansea, you should not need prompting for this.

    |   -5
  • Taweformation  |  January 21 2013, 7:15PM

    IloveMichu. Sorry pal but you are being a cynical fool!! Well done Dragons Den i for one will be down to see you in Ponty with some cash. We all need to look at this. Yes Charity begins at home but, isn't The Swansea valley our home?

    |   6
  • ILoveMichu  |  January 21 2013, 5:32PM

    Got nothing to do with getting free PR for the price of a few burgers then.

    |   -18
  • lancelot69  |  January 21 2013, 3:47PM

    i love the chaps in dragons den, they are awesome fellows of the community, thumbs up for trying to help guys! :)

    |   4
  • RichardCorso  |  January 21 2013, 9:40AM

    With recent bad news on "beef" burgers it's good to see a good news story on burgers. Well done to David Hopkin and his kind hearted gesture towards Swansea's homeless.

    |   15
  • DaleyBee  |  January 21 2013, 9:34AM

    Dave the rave, well done pal. You have always been a legend.

    |   16