A Bradford man has spoken about the difficulties of being homeless as he gets ready to ‘busk for beds’. 

Guitarist Anthony Sykes’ eyes were opened to the reality of life on the streets last year.

From relying on food banks to seeing adults wearing threadbare clothing, his experience has inspired a series of charity busks across Bradford district.

Whether it’s new shoes or a basic mobile phone to apply for job interviews, funds will go towards making people’s lives just a little bit brighter.

Taking place over two weeks in summer, shoppers will be able to watch his performances in the city centre as well as towns and villages.

‘Busking For Beds’ hopes to unite the community through the power of music.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Guitarist Anthony Sykes sings with his guitar in City ParkGuitarist Anthony Sykes sings with his guitar in City Park (Image: Newsquest)

Anthony, who works as a community radio DJ for BCB 106.6fm, said: “This time last year I faced homelessness. Bradford Council is stretched."

Anthony was living between hostels and worrying about where he could source his next meal.

“Going through it myself I didn’t realise how much hardship these people are facing," he said.

"There is a place of support but Bradford Council is stretched. The issue is getting larger. Living in that for the best part of the year was eye opening. There’s a pressing issue.”

Speaking about the accommodation he was staying at, he said: “They were relying on things like food banks. I’ve seen people going three or four days without eating anything, people going round with shoes or clothes falling apart. You’re looking like how are these people going to get a head start in life? It’s just getting them a little bit more help, working together as a community and everybody can put their hands up and say, I helped that, I was part of that. 

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

“People that haven’t thought about this as an issue, put yourself in those shoes and think about how you have it. Certain people are so lucky to have something - being able to get a wash, brush your teeth, things we take for granted. We’re really raising awareness and getting money for a good cause. Be blessed.”

Describing how the donations to his performances could get used, Anthony said: “It’s just go get people even for a night off the street. It’s getting them clothes, maybe they need a mobile phone, anything they need to get them in a better position to where they were. 

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Guitarist Anthony Sykes on the steps of City HallGuitarist Anthony Sykes on the steps of City Hall (Image: Newsquest)

“We’ve reached out to a lot of local businesses, they want to help donating packages. 

“Bradford as a city, there’s an abundance of love and prosperity.

“A lot of people don’t realise the extent of how bad it is.”

Anthony, who has been playing the guitar for 15 years, said anyone is welcome to come up to him for a chat. 

“We’re just going to go with the flow,” said the musician. “I never really go with setlists.”

To donate, visit the GoFundMe page by clicking here.