Help us keep Bristol’s homeless warm this Christmas

We’d love it if you could help us keep Bristol’s homeless warm this Christmas through donations this month (December 2018) of nearly new sleeping bags and clothing.

Our Bedminster-based Taunton Leisure – Bristol is inviting you to bring in any items you no longer need to help with a collection it is making for the organisation Keep Bristol Warm.

Our Store Manager, Braam Van Der Walt explains: “We’re hoping lots of our loyal customers and friends and colleagues from the walking, hiking and climbing fraternity come in with any sleeping bags, footwear and warm outdoor clothing, which is still in relatively good condition, but that they no longer need.

“Our charity collection will run until December 18 during normal opening hours and we will pass on all we’ve collected to Keep Bristol Warm for them to hand out to those they help in time for Christmas. It’s an ideal way to donate anything you’ve grown out of or are looking to replace to a very worthy cause.

“The products Keep Bristol Warm is particularly interested in for the homeless people it helps are sleeping bags, waterproofs and insulated jackets and fleeces.”

Keep Bristol Warm is a social action group dedicated to helping the homeless community in Bristol. Run by volunteers with the help of donations, the group hosts many events annually in a bid to improve the quality of life of the city’s homeless.

This includes a hot drinks initiative at participating cafés where people can buy two drinks and leave one for a homeless person to collect. The collection at Taunton Leisure will link with Keep Bristol Warm’s winter month activities.

Matt Goulette, a volunteer from Keep Bristol Warm, says: “We’re delighted to be supported by Taunton Leisure in this way. Warm clothing and sleeping bags are potentially life-saving items at this time of year.”

In February next year, Keep Bristol Warm has a ‘I Am Not Lost’ campaign where volunteers walk around the city tying scarves to lamp posts and leaving hats and gloves labelled ‘I Am Not Lost – if you’re stuck out in the cold please take me. Keep Bristol Warm!’

The campaign offers an opportunity to raise awareness, as well as providing clothing and access to warmth for those who need it.

Matt adds: “There are currently up to 100 people sleeping rough in Bristol and that’s only the official ones that the authorities are aware of. Homelessness is a huge issue and Keep Bristol Warm is about doing something to show people that we care. With the growing number of individuals we see on the streets daily, it’s easy to get desensitised. You can help every day by stopping, saying ‘hi’ and making people feel human again and by also donating to initiatives like this one we’re running with Taunton Leisure. Even the smallest donations and gestures can help.”

Our Keep Bristol Warm collection will run until December 18 during normal opening hours at Taunton Leisure – Bristol.

For more information, please visit our store on Bedminster Parade in Bedminster, Bristol or call 0117 9637640