THE LEVELLERS and artist duo The Postmen have teamed up with a charity to launch a much-needed meal service for homeless people.

Sussex Homeless Support (SHS) has gained the support of the Brighton groups, who have contributed financially and creatively to the charity’s new food van.

The mobile kitchen can now offer hot meals to homeless people around the city, as a lack of financial support from local and national government threatened to end the service.

“The only reason we were able to do this was because of the funding that came from The Levellers,” said Jim Dean, founder of SHS.

The Argus: The Levellers from left to right: Mark Chadwick, Matt Savage, Charlie Heather, Jim Dean (SHS, centre), Jeremy Cunningham, The Postmen (first, second right)The Levellers from left to right: Mark Chadwick, Matt Savage, Charlie Heather, Jim Dean (SHS, centre), Jeremy Cunningham, The Postmen (first, second right)

“I don’t get any funding from the government, so the funding that I get from the community is the hub.

“Before this we had a double-decker bus which we set up for feeding the homeless in the city, but it kept breaking down every single week, and left a smoke trail like you wouldn’t believe, so we decided to get rid of it.”

Rock group The Levellers, who shot to fame in the Nineties, raise money at their gigs for SHS, and previously put out requests for particular items, with fans answering the calls and taking things along to their shows.

The band’s drummer, Charlie Heather, first became involved with Jim and SHS after the tragic loss of his 15-year-old son in 2018.

“I realised that I was one or two steps away from being homeless myself, my life could just fall apart. It’s very easy, we’re just two steps away from that – getting addicted, losing your job,” he said.

“I just wanted to do something, and my wife met Jim, and so we got involved.”

Speaking about the SHS food van, Charlie said: “The Levellers and our fans have raised quite a lot of money for it, thousands of pounds over the last two or three years. And Jim wanted to put the picture of us on the side – so I came up with the idea of getting The Postmen involved.”

The Argus: Jim Deans, founder of Sussex Housing SupportJim Deans, founder of Sussex Housing Support

The Postmen have now become synonymous with Brighton and Hove for their quircky designs of celebrities which appear on things such as street broadband cabinets, with everyone from Green MP Caroline Lucas to Superhans, a character from Channel 4’s Peep Show spotted around the city.

The artists created a piece originally intended to celebrate the band’s 30th anniversary last year, but was instead used to decorate the SHS trailer.

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“It’s a massive honour, a privilege,” the anonymous pair said.

The SHS food van will operate every Thursday at The Peace Statue in Hove, and each Saturday in The Steine Gardens in Brighton.

“We’re a community set-up,” said Jim. “What The Levellers funding has done for us is like letting me run wild in the hills.”