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Vigil of hope to be held for tragic Daniel Smith
Thursday 19th January 2017 @ 17:01 by Nigel P.
Ashton Community Denton & Audenshaw News


Tragic Daniel killed by fellow rough sleepers in Salford.

Friends of tragic homeless man Daniel Smith, will hold a commemoration for him on the anniversary of his death at the hands of his fellow rough sleepers.

The vigil will be held at New Bailey Street at 7pm on Friday,  close to the railway arches at Gore Street, Salford where 23 -year-old Daniel was beaten to death a year ago on January 19.

Daniel originally came from Ashton and had stayed at various hostels in Tameside and Manchester, but returned to the make-shift camp that had sprung up underneath the arches in Salford.

Event organiser Angela Barrat who runs  Street Support for Manchester and Salford is organising the vigil so Daniel, who has a younger brother and sister, is not forgotten and to keep the plight of the young homeless current in the public’s mind.

Angela who knew Daniel said: “It will be a vigil of despair and hope – sadness at losing a valuable young life and hope that he will be remembered and his death will bring attention to the thousands of young rough sleepers that are on the streets of Manchester and Salford and other cities up and down the country.”

Angela has been helping homeless young people since 2011 following an encounter with a young lad sleeping in a shop doorway in Shude Hill.

After speaking with the young man she realised she could be talking to one of her own children.

Angela explained: “I became all motherly towards him. It started from there, that was what it was like with Daniel, he was just a nice ordinary kid, he loved United, designer clothes, all the things that most young lads like.”

Angela explained the draw of the camps that can sometimes pull the homeless away from hostels and back onto the streets.

She said: “There is an unbreakable bond between homeless people that draws them back to the camps.”

Though the camp where Daniel met his death has been closed down and blocked off by police, several other make-shift camps have sprouted up behind Deansgate and in Ancoats behind a charity called the Mustard Tree.

Angela would like to see councils and charities do more

“There are many reasons people find themselves homeless, including family breakdowns, drugs, mental health issues and lack of money for high rents,” she said.

“Once people are on the streets it is very hard for them to get back into work. Many recruiting agencies do credit checks and the homeless usually don’t pass them so they are not taken on to be considered for work.

“Councils could do more by making empty buildings available for shelters or low rents and homeless charities should do more with money donated by the public. They should also turn their properties over where possible instead of just handing out food and blankets.”

The memorial will consist of a short religious service led by Pastor Harely of the Outreach Ministry, followed by a candlelight vigil.

Two men Luke Benson, originally from Sale and Adam Acton, from Denton, both 25, who also slept at the homeless camp in Salford, were convicted of Daniel’s murder in August last year. They were sentenced to 21 and 22 years imprisonment respectively.

At the time of Daniel’s murder both men were said to be high on SPICE, a synthetic drug that was legal to buy before it was banned from sale a few months later.