Help Exeter’s homeless this Christmas

 

With your assistance, we’ll be helping keep Exeter’s homeless warm this Christmas and New Year through donations of nearly new rucksacks, sleeping bags and outdoor clothing.

Our store on Fore Street is inviting you, if you live locally, to bring in any items you no longer need to help with a collection it is making for the charity St Petrock’s.

Store Manager, Nick Baron, who is a keen climber, explains: “We’re hoping lots of our loyal customers and friends and colleagues from the walking, hiking and climbing fraternity come in with any rucksacks, sleeping bags and waterproof outdoor clothing, which is still in relatively good condition, but that they no longer need.

“Our charity collection will run until Sunday, January 27 during normal opening hours and we will pass on all we’ve collected to St Petrock’s for them to hand out to those in need. It’s an ideal way to donate any waterproof clothing you’ve grown out of, or are looking to replace, to a very worthy cause.

“The items most useful for St Petrock’s clients are rucksacks, sleeping bags, waterproofs and insulated jackets for men and women.”

The charity officially opened its doors in December 1994 as a community project providing a humanitarian response to rough sleepers in Exeter. It was given permission by the Central Parish of Exeter to adapt two thirds of St Petrock’s church for use as a homeless centre.

More than 600 people per annum face homelessness and multiple disadvantages in Exeter and the surrounding areas. Many of those who use St Petrock’s are people often viewed as being on the fringes of, or outside, society.

They include rough-sleepers, those being supported in accommodation subsequent to homelessness, those facing imminent homelessness, those released from prison and those discharged from hospital including mental health facilities/specialist accommodation.

Sadly, for many, homelessness may be accompanied by mental health issues, drug and/or alcohol problems, often as a result of traumatic childhood events. It may be accompanied by complicated medical issues, usually a result of many years of rough sleeping. All of which increase the difficulties for individuals in achieving stability and independence within the wider community.

Gill Luckings, External Communications Manager from St Petrocks, says: “We’re delighted to be supported in this way and we’re very grateful to Taunton Leisure and Nick for organising this collection and asking us what we really need to help those who are street homeless. Warm clothing and sleeping bags are potentially life-saving items from this time of year into February and March, when we can have some of the wettest and coldest weather and, often, we have got through a lot of our Christmas donations by then.

“Unfortunately, homelessness is a year-round issue and, although it receives a lot of attention at Christmas, by extending the collection into January this helps build public awareness around this, also, it means anyone thinking of buying new items in the sales might be more likely to donate anything they no longer need then too.

“We are especially grateful to Nick and Taunton Leisure for offering to store the donations, so that we can collect the items as and when most needed as our storage space is limited.”

Our charity collection at our Exeter store will run until Sunday, January 27 during normal opening hours. For more information, please visit our store on Fore Street or call 01392 410534.

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