Couple appeal for people to give rucksacks for homeless people
MARK and Lucy Hesford are appealing for people to give homeless people a chance at a happy Christmas.
The couple are collecting backpacks filled with food and warm clothes to give out to the homeless over Christmas.
Mr and Mrs Hesford were inspired by the Operation Christmas Child project, where churches send shoeboxes of gifts to children in developing world countries in time for the festive season. Three years ago they set up The Stable Project, where backpacks of goodies are sent to local homeless people.
Currently the Manchester branch of Chapter 1, a charity which provides accommodation and support services to the homeless victims of domestic abuse, is the most local distributor to Bolton-based donators.
The pair, from Lostock, are now hoping to expand the project nationally and get more churches and community groups involved and help collect and distribute the backpacks.
Mr Hesford, who works as a communications officer, said: “Backpacks are great for homeless people because they can just pick it up and carry it around.
“We don’t give them out directly. We have a charity which distributes them and various churches are acting as drop off points.
“Last year I think we sent out 60 backpacks, and obviously we want to expand that this year and we’d like more churches or community groups to get involved because they're a great focal point for coordinating the scheme locally.
“It’s our ambition to do this on a national scale in the future.”
People can donate personal items as well as hats, scarves and gloves.
Mr Hesford added: “It’s proved really popular so far — I think it’s hit a nerve with people.
“It’s a small gesture which I would hope people would continue to do each year.
“It doesn’t take long to do but it can make such a difference to someone’s Christmas.”
To donate to the appeal take goods to Chapter 1 The Limes, 76 Daisy Bank Road, Victoria Park, Manchester, M14 5GL or visit the Stable Project website: stableproject.org.uk
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