A HOMELESS shelter has hit its fundraising target to buy a headstone to mark the grave of a former resident.

Brian Nicholson lived in a flat belonging to Furness Homeless Support Group for five years.

The 79-year-old died on June 11 in hospital and as he had no family Barrow Borough Council funded the cost of a simple graveside service at Barrow Cemetery.

As authority-funded funerals don't include a headstone the homeless shelter launched a bid to raise the money to buy the plot and have a headstone installed.

Since June the shelter has shared a number of posts on their Facebook page to update supporters on the campaign's progress.

Donations have come in from individuals and companies.

In August the shelter thanked staff from BT Exchange who handed over £250 towards the fundraiser.

The shelter's managers said: "Anne Smith and Julie Waddington from BT Exchange popped in to donate £250 towards the cost of Brian’s plot and headstone.

"A big thank you to everyone at BT Exchange!

"We are well and truly working our way towards the grand total. People really have been wonderful and we are incredibly grateful."

In September a major milestone was reached when the campaign raised enough to pay for the burial plot. Shelter staff and residents chose the headstone and announced it would be installed in December.

They said: "We need to say a big sincere heartfelt thank you to Quality Flooring, who donated an amazing £500, and to Schofield's Construction, who generously donated £100.

"Also to our charity shop customers who have donated in our collection tin, to members of the public that have dropped in with donations and to staff and residents who have also donated. It’s overwhelming really."

Last week the latest update revealed the target had been reached.

Shelter staff said: "We have now reached the amount we needed to purchase Brian’s grave plot and headstone.

"A big thank you to Nigel and Brad of The Waterworks Studio who popped in to donate a cheque for £300.

"This has now taken us to our total and beyond. Nigel had the pleasure of meeting Brian and really wanted to help out.

The response we have had is wonderful and we are pretty sure Brian would be amazed by it all."