A GOOD Samaritan is dancing her way to help homeless people have better lives.

Phillipa (corr) Henderson, a counsellor and sign language interpreter from Calcor, has picked The Ark Project as the cause for her morris dancing side to support this year.

The scheme, set up by reformed criminal Michael Longsmith, works with scores of homeless people across the town by providing shelter on a double-decker bus.

Now, the group is raising funds to convert a former prison van into a shower and toilet facility for the needy.

Mrs Henderson said: "I asked for ideas on the Caversham, Tilehurst, Calcot and Reading Gossip Girls’ Facebook pages and so many people suggested The Ark Project helping homeless people.

“They really need more funding. In winter of course their work is even more vital.”

Hurst Morris will fundraise at their barn dance on February 24 at 7.30pm and at their maypole and morris dancing day on April 29 at noon. Barn dance tickets are available and the maypole event is free. Both are at Hurst Village Hall.

Mr Longsmith said: "The unit will mean we can bring a shower and clean clothes where ever they are needed.

“When we first meet service users a lot are on the brink of suicide. Having a shower makes them feel human again, life is worth living. Some haven’t showered for three weeks.”

Reading Borough Council's latest rough sleeper count revealed there are at least 22 in the town.

Donations to Mrs Henderson's cause can be made at http://bit.ly/2DWtQyU

Ark trustee Siana Longsmith added: "There is a lot of rough sleeping, lots of people wanting help. We have very high demand. There are 11 beds on the bus but have had to make up more downstairs.

“Several people go out to work from the bus. We’re helping them get permanent homes, talking to their local councils.”