A homeless man who spent years sleeping under outdoor stairs has moved into a caravan - given to him for free by a kind stranger.

Mark Williams had been sleeping rough since the death of his mum and brother, reports Devon Live.

The 51-year-old, who suffers from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and is a Universal Credit claimant, is saving up to retake his HGV licence test.

Mark says he's as 'happy as Larry' now he's living in a caravan in Barnstaple- and even forked out for solar panels to power the mobile home.

"The caravan is how I've managed to survive," he said.

"With lockdown the library and McDonald's is closed so I wasn't able to charge anything up.

Mark, who used to work for the NHS before becoming a lorry driver, has been living on the streets for three years

"Someone got in touch on Facebook, they were selling the caravan for £50 but said because you're homeless you can just have it.

"I have used some of the money which I was saving for my HGV and bought some solar panels which are on the roof of the caravan - all my power now comes from the sun."

Mark, who used to work for the NHS before becoming a lorry driver, has been living on the streets for three years after the rapid decline in his mental health.

His HGV driving career took a major hit after the death of two loved ones.

His mother died in 2001 from pneumonia and then 14 years later, his brother passed away suddenly.

He said: ''I found myself in a really dark place when he died. I had nowhere to go so ended up sleeping in my mum's old garage."

Mark WIlliams says the caravan has give him a project

It was at this point he was imprisoned after an injunction was enforced to stop him trespassing.

He added: "I was told I couldn't sleep there and got an injunction put on me to stop me from returning.

"When I was in front of the judge at the time of being put in prison for the third time around I said 'Listen, putting me in prison is not the solution'.

"I don't need punishment, what I need is help. I was in a revolving door of going to prison, being let out and back out on the streets.

"That was in 2017 and I have been homeless ever since."

Despite a gloomy past, Mark says that he is in a much better place and the caravan has kept him busy.

He said: "The caravan has a grill and three hobs. The temperatures have dropped so I have had my hot water bottle out.

"My savings for the HGV licence took a bit of a dent but I had to prioritise getting this up and running.

"This caravan has given me a project and it's something for me to put my mind to.

"I have sorted myself out now, but I still have a long way to go."

Despite chipping into his savings, Mark says he is half-way to being able to afford the licence and hopes to pursue the dream toward the end of this year.