A WELL-KNOWN Big Issue seller who had all his possessions stolen has been given the chance to get his life back.

Jim Pelham had his bag stolen when he visited the Cross Keys shopping centre on December 23.

Big Issue seller Jim had gone into Scent and Colour and he returned to his post near Ryman at about 5.20pm to find that his North Face bag containing his laptop, notebooks, clothes and Kindle had been taken.

“There was nothing in that bag that was of any resell value, what it amounted to was one human life that was in the rucksack.

“For many years I have put my bag on the hook, so much so that workmen from the shopping centre had installed a proper hook for me there.”

Jim, a former medical secretary, said that he realises he might not be reunited with his belongings but he hopes that he would be able to recover his Runes Stone Sets to continue his tarot reading.

“I felt numb when it first happened but I am beyond the rage now. I don’t know why someone would do this, maybe out of spite.

“At that point I was essentially fully homeless as I was living on the street so I had a lot to contend with as well as this.”

In the days following the theft the news of the incident spread round the city and Jim’s life was changed overnight after he was offered a roof over his head.

Chapel nightclub owner Amanda Newbery has given the 40-year-old a room and an offer of help to find permanent accommodation.

Jim said: “She has given me somewhere to stay and now I’ve got a fighting chance of getting my life back and I’m very happy about that.

“She is also going to help me try and get help from the council to try and get some permanent accommodation.”

Amanda added: “It was an absolutely freezing night and he didn’t have anywhere to go either, so we loaded up his stuff and he is staying with us at the moment.

“We have also found him a bit of work and he is going to be helping us until he gets himself sorted out with full-time work.”

To Jim’s surprise the kindness has not stopped there as he was handed a new Kindle by one of his familiar faces.

“The gentleman always says hello to me and this morning [Friday] he came and bought me a Kindle.

“I am overwhelmed by it all, people have been lovely to me.”

Anyone with information about the theft of Jim’s rucksack is asked to call police on 101.