Atherton support worker helps homeless keep warm
11:20am Wednesday 11th December 2013 in North West
RUCKSACKS are providing a lifeline for people forced to sleep rough this winter.
Thanks to a senior support worker for Greater Manchester West NHS Mental Health Foundation Trust, homeless people in Piccadilly Gardens could receive warm clothing, soup and blankets.
Shaun Gerrard, of Wigan Road in Atherton, discovered the project on social media and he and his manager, Adam Clayton, the community psychiatric nurse team manager, decided they should help.
He said: “We are asking people to donate anything they can, rucksacks, flasks for soup, tinned food, warm hats and gloves or sleeping bags. Adam and I will then fill the rucksacks and hand them out to people sleeping rough on December 22.
“People have been really generous and a lot have offered to help us hand the rucksacks out as well. We’ve got about enough now to fill ten bags but we want as much as possible.
“If people can, we ask that they buy things from charity shops because then it is double the effect on charitable projects.”
The project is also being supported by St Joseph’s Approved Premises, home to 29 offenders, and Manchester College who will receive qualifications for their participation.
The 22-year-old said: “It is fair to say that at times some of the residents at St Joseph’s have had periods either being homeless or sleeping rough and so this project has really caught people’s imagination.
“The project is an excellent way for participants to support the most vulnerable members of society during the festive period and enables them to give back to the community against which they offended.”
Anyone wishing to donate can email Shaun at Shaun.Gerrard@gmw.nhs.uk.
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