Former homeless man who nearly died in Derbyshire now 'in a much better position'

Former homeless man Nuno Fernandes.
Former homeless man Nuno Fernandes.

A former homeless man - who nearly died in a Derbyshire village in the bitter cold - is now 'in a much better position' in his home city of Lisbon.

As reported by the Derbyshire Times earlier this month, Nuno Fernandes travelled from Portugal to the UK in search of work last year.

READ MORE: Derbyshire villagers help save homeless man's life

The 44-year-old found it impossible to get a job, however, and ended up sleeping rough in woods in Holymoorside with no entitlement to benefits and no money to feed himself and return home.

When they learned of Nuno's plight, Holymoorside residents Becky Matthews, Fiona Muxlow, Rachel Scott, Dorothy Bateman and Melanie Jane Downes stepped in to help him, showing incredible compassion.

Among other things, the Good Samaritans gave him food, clothes and money for over three months - and helped him get back home.

Fiona told the Derbyshire Times this week: "Nuno is in touch with us daily and we continue to give him moral support.

"He still says how kind people were to him when he was in Holymoorside but he agrees that he's in the best place for him now.

"He's also enjoying the warmer weather there and being in a familiar place."

She added: "Nuno's settling back into his home city of Lisbon. He's been in touch with his brother and has met up with old friends.

"He's still in a difficult situation but is being helped by a local charity and has access to support and benefits, which he wasn't entitled to when he was in the UK. After the initial article about him was published, a lot of people said that Nuno could have accessed support here and received benefits but that wasn't the case. The support available was very limited and he certainly had no entitlement to any benefits whatsoever or any chance of obtaining a permanent job. His personal documentation and ID had been left with a church in Retford for safe keeping where it was, unfortunately, misplaced so any chance of finding permanent work was impossible.

"Now Nuno's back in Lisbon he's been able to sort out his replacement personal documentation. He's visiting the Lisbon equivalent of the job centre where they’re helping him draft a CV, apply for jobs and search for work. He's been offered a place on a month-long training course which he's hoping to start shortly. It will lead to a qualification and will put him in a better position for finding a permanent job and permanent accommodation.

"He's been able to go to his family dentist and receive specific treatment - something he couldn't get when he was in the UK – so, healthwise, he's in a much better position."