A FORMERLY homeless man wants to “make up for lost time” by starting his childhood dream of having an ice cream business.

Nick Wood, originally from Bognor, lived homeless in Brighton for eight years in total and has said it is “now or never” for him in his pursuit to start a business.

He moved to Brighton in 1997 at 16 and has been in and out of homelessness while trying to hold down jobs.

But his days of living on the streets are now behind him.

The 40-year-old is appealing for the kindness of people in the city to consider donating to his fundraiser to help him start his ice cream business, which he says is a “childhood dream”.

The former Southern Rail and McDonald's worker said he is now at a point in his life where he believes he can make this dream a reality.

Nick, who now lives in Hove, told The Argus: “I have just turned 40, people say life starts at 40 and all this. My health is at a point where if I don’t do something now, in the next five or 10 years I might not be able to do it.

“I’m fully stable, fully recovered and want to keep going forward rather than looking back. I have lost a lot of time to homelessness, sitting on the street begging.

The Argus: Nick wants to start his business in the very place he did his bubble performances when homelessNick wants to start his business in the very place he did his bubble performances when homeless

“Homelessness is an endless cycle in Brighton and unfortunately there is not enough places here for homeless people.”

Another one of Nick's ventures was his bubble performances on the seafront to keep himself occupied while homeless.

"I ended up doing it by the pier for about three or four years and in The Lanes.", said Nick.

"It’s something I did to keep me going throughout the days. You don’t know how tedious it is being homeless."

Nick received support in the past from the Prince’s Trust, a charity that helps young people from 11 to 30. The charity let him have a business mentor, which is where his ice cream dream really started to come to fruition.

He said: “The problem being with my homeless situation, I have never really had the stable period to sit down and put it into one successful goal. But I’m at this time of my life where I’m stable now and can put my full effort into it.

“Otherwise I would have done one of these pages 20 years ago and tried then. Now is the time.

“People might think I’m someone trying to make a few quid here and there but the support has genuinely knocked me for six really."

The Argus: He says the time is right and the support he has got so far has "knocked him for six"He says the time is right and the support he has got so far has "knocked him for six"

He wants to start with a bike that has a mobile freezer unit attached to it and hopes to start trading this summer.

Nick, who said he recently opened his first ever savings account, spoke of the overall goal with his business and said people are welcome to suggest business names to him, something which he is still deciding. His long term goal is his very own ice cream van.

He added: “Well that would be a dream. But looking at a fully kitted out ice cream van, we’re looking at 12 to 15 grand. It is the overall ambition, but I am just focused on giving myself a work ethic, building up the finances myself once I have started through my own hard work.”

For more information, visit Nick's Go Fund Me page.

Have you got a story for us? Email news@theargus.co.uk or contact us here.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to keep up with all the latest news.

Sign up to our newsletter to get updates sent straight to your inbox.

You can also call us on 01273 021 400.