Glossop homeless initiative UNITY Outreach want to say a big ‘thank you’ to generous members of the community following the success of their Christmas Bag appeal.
In the run-up to the festive season, the team leave the drawstring bags at a number of drop-off spots across the town, which are taken and filled by members of the public to be passed back and distributed to those sleeping rough in Manchester.
The bags are filled with essentials needed for those living on the streets, such as warm socks and underwear, gloves, hats, sanitiser, wipes and festive items such as a chocolate treat, Christmas card and Greggs gift card.
Glossop came out in full force to support the cause, with Phillip Howard’s Gratitude Club taking 50 bags to fill, Pets at Home swapping out their Secret Santa in order to pack bags and many more businesses in the area.
Founder Jolene Hampson, along with her sister Nichola Hampson-Shearer said that they were overwhelmed with the response, and are now set on distributing the bags during their Christmas Outreach on Tuesday, December 17.
“Scouts, dance clubs, families.... we just wanted to thank you all,” they said.
“These guys on the street have absolutely nothing and to get a gift filled with new winter essentials is vital but also shows people do care.
“The businesses we want to thank for allowing us to store the bags are Creative Aesthetics and Makeup, Chelsea’s hairdressers, Off The Rails and Jackson Opticians - these four have been pick-up and drop-off points and that’s a great support for us.
“The bags will be given out during our Christmas Outreach, an event where we give out festive sandwiches, offer haircuts and will also have a volunteer who will look at any medical issues in a safe clean environment.”
The team is now looking for kind donations from local butchers or businesses of fresh joints or meat to be served on the day.
If anyone would be able to help, they are asked to contact the team via the UNITY Outreach Facebook page.
But the group is far from done, as they will be holding a refreshments stall at the Christmas light switch-on in Glossop this coming Saturday, November 23, where there will be hot and cold drinks, homemade cakes and a raffle with some top prizes, including: comedy tickets for The Crystal Ballroom, champagne, meal vouchers for the Beehive pub and much more.
All proceeds raised will be going straight back into UNITY to allow them to continue to support the homeless community.
BAGGED UP: Some of the essential items the bags have been filled up with as winter sets in.