Real-Life Superhero: The Birmingham Spider-Man
If you’re sceptical about the existence of superheroes (besides the emergency services, that is), then this one might change your mind!
Spider-Man has set up residence in Birmingham in the UK and in true superhero fashion he is making sure the homeless people of the city aren’t going hungry.
While it’s unlikely that this person is actually Peter Parker, the 20-year-old does wish to remain anonymous, and we only know some details about him.
For example, he’s a bartender originally from Warwickshire, who has been volunteering for years, working with a church group handing out food to those who can’t afford to buy it.
The Birmingham Spider-Man, as he has become known, has regularly been trailing the streets, buying sandwiches out of his own money and feeding the vulnerable and homeless people, but with little recognition for his cause.
He wanted to try a new approach, something to perk up those he was helping and perhaps raise awareness at the same time. “I saw the smiles people were giving as I was handing them sandwiches,” he said. “Then I thought, ‘Imagine the smiles when they see Spider-Man do it!’”
And so, one evening around 9pm, he donned the costume and set about his usual work.
That first evening secured it. Everyone he gave a sandwich to had huge smiles for their superhero. But more than that, passersby who normally wouldn’t look twice, asked to have their photo taken with him and asked what he was doing. And so he told them.
His work has really taken off, and his alter-ego even has his own Twitter account, which you can check out here. Through his Twitter, the Birmingham Spider-Man gets messages from those who are inspired by what he is doing, and asking advice on how they can help too. “Every day I get tweets from parents saying their kids love seeing the story on the news,” he added.
Other people have offered to donate money for food. However, the masked man tells them that he would rather they got involved in a hands-on capacity, urging them out onto the streets.
Ultimately, he just hopes that his work will show everyone that no matter a person’s situation, they deserve a helping hand. “We are all part of the human experience,” he said, “and I believe that we need to at everyone as humans and help each other the same as we would a close friend.”
And when it comes to his true identity? He is determined not to unmask himself. Without Spider-Man’s face covering his own, his work wouldn’t be getting the recognition it so rightly deserves.
“All of a sudden, everyone wants to speak to me about it,” he explained. “It is promoting a positive message because people have seen it on all the media and people have said they are going to go out and hand stuff out with their friends.
“And that’s exactly the reaction I’m looking for.”