Local homelessness charity Emmaus Hertfordshire is launching its annual rucksack appeal to help rough sleepers during the coldest months of the year and is asking the local community to get involved by donating essential winter items.
Plummeting temperatures bring increased risk of health issues to rough sleepers. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, at least 78 homeless people died on the streets or in temporary accommodation in the UK last winter, with many being found dead in doorways, crowded shelters or in tents pitched in freezing conditions.
Emmaus Hertfordshire is keen to encourage school groups, businesses, families, groups and individuals to get involved by collecting essential items for men and women facing extreme weather conditions, including:
Toiletries: toothpaste, tooth brush, soap, shower gel, shampoo, flannel, deodorant, shaving foam, razor, comb, pocket mirror
Food: Plain biscuits, lighters, packet soups, sweets, packet meals/pasta pouches
Clothing: Hats, gloves, scarves, thermal fleeces/jumpers, socks
Other: Rucksacks, sleeping bags, blankets
Speaking of the appeal, Lin Oh, Operations Manager at Emmaus Hertfordshire, said:
“It’s really easy to get involved with our rucksack appeal. Simply drop off the much-needed items to one of our shops, and we will do the rest. We are extremely grateful to anyone that donates to the appeal, whether it’s individual items, a complete toiletry kit, or a full rucksack.”
Emmaus Hertfordshire supports 39 people who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion. When someone joins its St Albans based community they are offered with a home for as long as needed and the opportunity to gain work experience in its six charity shops across Hertfordshire and Barnet.
Solidarity, meaning to help someone less fortunate than yourself, is a key value to Emmaus, and people currently being supported by Emmaus Hertfordshire will join staff to distribute full rucksacks this winter to support people through extreme weather conditions.
Items and backpacks can be dropped off at any Emmaus shop in Barnet, Hemel Hempstead, Harpenden, Hertford, Tring and St Albans during opening hours.
To find out more about Emmaus Hertfordshire, or the address and opening hours of one of its shops, visit: www.emmaus.org.uk/hertfordshire.