A HOMELESS man who went from wealthy to poor said he would be "6ft under" if it wasn't for two city charities.

Peter Richardson, a retired farmer originally from Redditch, came to Worcester seven weeks ago and has been utilising the services of several Worcester organisations.

Mr Richardson praised organisations like Maggs Day Centre and Worcester Foodbank for saving his life.

He said: "I have been on both ends of the spectrum, very wealthy and very poor. I went through a bad spell after a divorce with alcohol issues that led me to some really dark places. 

"I came to Worcester about seven weeks ago as the place I was staying at in Redditch was not suitable for me anymore and I was recommended to visit Maggs Day Centre.

"They honestly saved my life, they gave me food and safety and also referred me to other fantastic organisations like Worcester Foodbank.

"I would be in a ditch somewhere now or six feet under without them."

Mr Richardson said his journey has been "incredibly hard" and complicated, with health issues also making things difficult.

He said: "Over the summer I was in and out of Worcestershire Royal Hospital with a bad knee and I am still suffering from septic arthritis now.

"It has been incredibly hard and painful, but the hardest thing is being on your own. Everyone needs help sometimes.

"A lot of people may still not know just how bad things are for some people, and this winter is going to be harsh.

"We are all going to have to help each other and be there for each other. If I can share this story, and help someone reading it in a tough situation then I will be very happy."

Grahame Lucas, manager of Worcester Foodbank, said: "It is wonderful to hear he wishes to honour the amazing work and support he has received from both us at Foodbank and also from Maggs.

"Life is very fraught for us as demand has risen so dramatically, up about 40 per cent on last year. Running the foodbank has become even more stressful in recent months for our team.

"We are in the process of implementing our winter plan which is designed to ensure we can continue to serve those in crisis."