Kind 'angel' offers shelter to homeless couple

Britain First's Jayda Fransen produced an anti-immigration video in Mansfield, which has shocked a number of local community leaders. (Source: YouTube)
Britain First's Jayda Fransen produced an anti-immigration video in Mansfield, which has shocked a number of local community leaders. (Source: YouTube)

A homeless couple in Mansfield has been taken into Shelter after falling victim to an 'abusive' video by Britain First leaders.

Emergency shelter has been offered to Wieslaew and Avia, from Poland and Latvia, after they were subjected to questions by Britain First deputy leader Jayda Fransen when she stopped in Mansfield last week.

The video said they had set up an 'illegal migrant camp' although the Chad understands the couple have been living locally for the past six years and were made homeless two years ago.

Reverend Keith Hebden said a local landlord, described as a 'kind angel' who heard about the case, was so touched they've found a room for the couple to provide emergency shelter to help them apply for help and look for work.

He added: "They've been given free accommodation for two weeks. The trouble was they couldn't get any emergency accommodation because he wasn't working so h wasn't entitled to anything and he couldn't get into work because he was homeless. You find yourself in this rut where you're homeless and it's very difficult to become un-homeless. Wieslaew now has an address for two weeks so now he's able to apply for jobs.

"It was really sweet when we went to visit them and give them the news - my nine-year-old daughter did a cartwheel and it turns out Wiselaew used to be a great dancer and did a cartwheel himself.

"I'd also to praise the police have done a really good job checking on the the couple to make sure they're safe."

A strong message has been sent to the far-right party after the group produced a “profane” video in the Mansfield area – branded “rank hypocrisy” by the local faith leader.

After the controversial video prompted strong words from both sides of the EU-referendum debate, Mansfield's Eastern European community has suggested the video and response form some who lauded it, has made them feel threatened.

Dr Beata Polanowska is an active member of the community as the manager of the Signpost charity based in Nottingham for supporting Polish and Eastern European people as well as producing a Polish language newspaper, available in Mansfield.

She said: "It makes me wonder whether all of us who are migrants should feel threatened for our safety and whether we are welcome in Mansfield.”

Polish migrants play a very important role for the UK economy, they've been coming to the UK since the Second World War and already made a positive contribution to the local society.

"But in the last few weeks we have observed an increase of tensions and dislike to anyone that is different or foreign, and I prefer the England we came to that is friendly, and in which people live together amicably."

Barbara Glass, chair of the Polish Catholic Association in Mansfield said: "In our community has welcomes for all that time. My family came here from Poland after the war and they were only ever welcomes by people in the Mansfield area.

"It was that generation that built the Polish church and the clubs that we have on the windmill lane.

"They don't represent Mansfield and it paints a very bad picture of Mansfield that the town doesn't deserve."

After the incident in Mansfield on Saturday, June 18 Nottinghamshire Police confirmed they had an incident open following the visit by Britain First and officers have visited the couple on Saturday, June 18 with concerns for their welfare.

They added: “Nottinghamshire Police is aware of the video and the incident is under investigation.

“Officers have also referred the pair for additional support through the local Homelessness Support Group in order to help find a long-term solution to their housing situation.”

Numerous comments came in on Facebook against the video, while some also backed Britain First's concern of homeless people living in tents, which is all too common in the UK as thousands of people are ineligible for housing under tight rules.

Jacey Brown said: "Britain First are not welcome around here."

Samantha Lloyd said: "Britain First are vile and shouldn't be allowed. But, also I don't think that people camping in the town centre is appropriate.

Kate Whitby said: "We certainly don't need a bigoted small-minded muppet like her rocking up and shouting at vulnerable folk living in tents, whatever their nationality."

The homeless charity Framework said there were numerous reasons why Eastern European people coming to the UK may end up homeless - "from unstable, temporary employment, low wages and high housing costs, to restrictions in the benefits system," said operations manager Jon Leighton.

He added: "This last point is perhaps the most significant because, contrary to what some people may believe, EU nationals are not entitled to anywhere near the same level of benefits as UK residents.

"Housing Benefit in particular is unavailable to the vast majority of EU migrants – especially to those who find themselves out of work and in need of help.

"However, we can at least give them what they deserve – and that is to be treated with respect and dignity as we find out why they are in the situation they are in and we do what we can to help them. It saddens me greatly that the people featured in this deeply unpleasant and offensive video (against their will) have been abused in this way.”

The charity recently had to cease it's Street Outreach programme in Mansfield after funding shortages, and added that migrants are in a catch-22 situation because organisations also can't house them if they don't have access to benefits. T