Former Birmingham rough sleepers receive donation for their dogs

Building company staff make life easier for disadvantaged man’s best friends.

Former rough sleepers in Birmingham have received a kind donation of pet food and toys for their four-legged friends.

Staff at integrated building solutions company J Tomlinson collected the items for dogs staying at a Birmingham-supported housing scheme run by housing association, Midland Heart.

As part of a pilot project funded by Birmingham City Council, Zambesi started accepting customers with dogs in January this year, with four dogs staying at the scheme so far. “Our customers were delighted to receive these goodies for their companions. This kind donation will really help them and their dogs settle in and make the most of their time at Zambesi”, says Sonia Chahal, Inclusion Service Manager at Midland Heart.

“We have found the dogs’ presence is having a positive impact on our customers in helping them to break down barriers, engage better with support and make some really positive progress.”

Managed by leading housing organisation Midland Heart, the 32-bed scheme on Stratford Road in Sparkbrook offers emergency, short-term accommodation, to individuals in need.

Anthony Newton, Regeneration at J Tomlinson, said: “When we heard that Zambesi were accepting people with dogs we wanted to offer our support to the pets now living at the scheme. Over the last three months our staff have managed to collect a lovely selection of food and toys which we are sure the dogs will enjoy. We are proud to support this much needed service helping some of Birmingham’s most vulnerable rough sleepers and their dogs.”

Midland Heart has been working in partnership with the Dogs Trust to ensure Zambesi’s facilities are suitable for dogs and to ensure they are comfortable in their new surroundings.

If you spot someone sleeping rough in Birmingham you can connect them to local support by visiting