CHERYL Tweedy’s older brother is living in a tent and begging for handouts on the streets.
Homeless Andrew Tweedy, 41, says he has not spoken to the pop star for years — after she previously gave him £20,000 for drug rehab.
Andrew — uncle to Cheryl’s four-year-old son Bear — now downs cans of super-strength beer in parks from 7am.
He said: “This is what I’m f***ing living like. I’ve been begging here for more than three months and it’s something that has really broken my heart.
“I’ve got so much f***ing pride. With the family I’ve got, I shouldn’t be here. It’s horrible.
“None of them have contacted me. Even though Cheryl’s not helping me, she’s still my family. She probably won’t even know I’m on the streets. I don’t blame her at all. This is the lowest I’ve ever been.”
Tearful Andrew, who has a lengthy history of violent crime, sits in his tent surrounded by bottles of urine and empty cans of beer.
He shares his makeshift home — in a northern England town — with a pal he met on the streets. Last week, cops visited to find out why they were pitched in a council-owned green space.
One officer said: “We don’t have any real right to move them on, because the land is owned by the council.”
Andrew says he wound up on the streets after he split with his girlfriend earlier this year.
He said: “I was grafting in work for two years, scaffolding and merchandising. Then things fell through with the partner I was living with.”
Andrew, who has a son from a previous relationship, has fought a lengthy battle with drink and drug abuse and has a string of previous convictions.
He was jailed for six years in 2011 for an armed robbery on a Post Office.
He told cops his accomplices nicked the loot before hiding a gun, machete and balaclavas at his home.
Tweedy was later shipped out of HMP Durham amid fears there was a £10,000 price on his head. He claims it would now be too dangerous to go back to his home city of Newcastle.
Andrew, who has a Staffie called Razor, said: “I’ve still got enemies there and people who want to settle scores.
“When I go there, I’ve got to be something I don’t want to be. I’ve got to be on my guard and carrying weapons.”
He is now waiting for temporary council accommodation — a far cry from Cheryl, who is worth around £35million and living in a £5million pad in Herts.
The former Girls Aloud star, now 38, was already an accomplished dancer when Andrew got hooked on glue, taking part in his first street robbery at 13.
In 1996, he was sent to a young offenders’ institution for six years after stabbing two students.
In 2005, he was given a four-year jail term for a brutal mugging after jumping bail and spending five weeks on the run.
It meant he missed Cheryl’s 2006 wedding to footballer Ashley Cole.
She once said of her teenage years: “Heroin was there for the taking. I could have taken that route, but I always maintained my ambition.”
Andrew revealed in a 2008 interview: “I watch Cheryl on TV and think, ‘Your life is so different to the one you left behind’. She tells me I should be inspired by what she’s done and I can turn my back on booze and violence. Instead, like a fool, I go back to the drink and the glue.”
The local council said: “Our housing team will always work with anyone who is in housing need to come up with a solution.”
Only so much family can do
By Mark Dempster – former addict and drug addiction specialist
TALKING as a former drug addict, family can be a huge driver and motivator for people to overcome addiction.
Knowing that you have the support from your family — brothers, sisters, mums, and dads — can help so much.
However, often there’s only so much a family can intervene to try to help, which seems to have happened in this case.
The addict has to want to help themselves and be willing to get expert treatment.
A family can support them to get that help, either from a specialised service or in a clinic.
Sometimes, a family can be well-meaning but give the wrong help.
When I was given money by my mother, all that money was being spent on more drugs and alcohol.
To some degree, money can act as an enabler. You need to get the addict into the care of an expert but it doesn’t always need to be paid for.
You can turn to the NHS for help and be assigned specialist treatment.
Single men are worst hit
By Matt Downie – Policy head for homeless charity Crisis
ANDREW Tweedy is typical of the section of society worst hit by homelessness — single men.
They are more likely to not qualify for any form of help, and when all their options run out, they end up with nothing and on the street.
In the UK, we have a system for homeless people which, internationally speaking, is generous, but not for everyone.
We’ve had this system for more than 50 years, and it’s really only people that meet strict tests that get the help.
The rest are left to their own devices to see what they can get from charities — or to go down this appalling slope which leads to the worst forms of homelessness.
The pandemic showed us we could do this differently. When it hit last year, there was an instruction sent out to get everyone off the streets immediately.
And within a few days, this had happened. It was amazing. So we know there’s an alternative and it can be done.
IF you need help, call the Crisis free phone line on 08000 384838.