12:02pm Friday 27th September 2013
A HAKIN hero has turned more than a decade of tragedy into something positive, becoming a Pride of Britain local hero finalist.
Damion Buckingham, aged 30, has lost more than 20 friends over the last decade to accidents, illnesses and addictions.
After losing best friend Dorian Morgan, Damion set up a Facebook group in honour of him and his other friends.
“I keep the group up-to-date, wishing them happy birthday, happy new year, remembering anniversaries,” he said.
“It’s about keeping the memory alive, thinking of the good times and how much they were all loved.”
Damion’s loss inspired him and a group of friends – the A Team – to care for a homeless man, Robert Britton.
“We got Rob a tent, a double mattress and a sleeping bag, and we would give him food and clothes.
“Because we got the word out to everyone, he would get food every day.”
After Robert died from cancer three months ago Damion set about raising money for a headstone, but then Andrew Bennett, of EP Monumental Masons, stepped in and donated one.
Damion was “gobsmacked” when he received the phone call to say he had been nominated for the award.
“We thought it was a wind up at first. I just do what I do as best as I can. I did not expect all this – it’s an honour," he said.
““All the people who have helped deserve a pat on the back too.”
Mum Carol said: “I’m absolutely delighted Damion’s been recognised for this. Those boys are looking down on him.”
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