A Christian charity which works to help the homeless and those addicted to drugs has been nominated for the Telegraph & Argus Bradford’s Best Awards.

The group was nominated for Best Community Group as it reaches out to homeless people struggling with habits and other problems.

Led by John Edwards, the group has strong links to Bradford’s Abundant Life Church, and holds weekly recovery groups at its Walking Free Centre in Bradford.

The recovery meetings help people overcome their addictions and other problems through counselling and group support, while volunteers help people with literacy skills.

A free choir has been formed by people who attend the centre. They perform to raise awareness and funds for the charity’s work.

The group also provides free hot meals every Sunday morning and Monday lunchtime.

Mr Edwards was himself addicted to alcohol and drugs for 24 years and had lived rough on the streets. His personal experience of being homeless has given him a rapport with those in similar positions. He managed to kick his habit 20 years ago.

The charity has been nominated for the Best Community Group by Elizabeth Stevenson, of Haycliffe Grove, Bradford, a part-time volunteer for the group.

She said: “I think John is doing a wonderful job. He feels passionate about reaching out to the homeless and the underprivileged and people who haven’t got life skills, such as literacy.

“He’s been helping them, but he gets them involved so they are not just receiving hand-outs but are working for themselves in a way to raise awareness and funds.

“He has also encouraged people to go to rehab.

“It’s not just that they give them meals, but they talk to the people as well. They can sit for hours informing them and trying to help them, seeing a way out of their problems, so it’s much more long-term.

“To sum up, he has set a personal example of serving his community and everyone who knows him believes his work should be honoured.”

Twice a year Mr Edwards and his volunteers organise a ‘Sleep Out’ under the arches at Forster Square to show solidarity with the homeless and highlight their plight.