A MAN who has spent 19 years helping the homeless has been nominated for a Pride of the Cotswolds award.

Gerry Watkins has been helping homeless veterans for years, and set up the Big Yellow Bus Project to help others in need in June 2017.

The Cirencester scheme, which opened just before Christmas, has been nominated in the Community Project of the Year category.

Gerry organised charity gigs to raise the money to buy a yellow double decker bus which he transformed into a homeless shelter.

Up to seven people can stay there at any one time, and the project has helped people from Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire and Hampshire get back on their feet.

“I thought how can I try and improve the lives of the homeless people in our area?

“It’s proven its worth in the community. We have got some fantastic volunteers. We have come a very long way in a short time. We are learning a lot as we go.”

Reflecting on his award nomination Gerry added: “I am just happy to bring awareness to the project.

“I do stuff I believe in. I don’t need any congratulations.”

For more information go to bigyellowbusproject.co.uk.

Know someone who deserves a Pride of the Cotswolds award? Nominations are open now.