A MALVERN care home is supporting a national charity campaign to provide winter essentials to the homeless.
Residents at The Avenue Care Home in Malvern called in the help of mayor councillor Clive Hooper to organise the essential packs as part of the Hand on Heart campaign.
The Hand on Heart charity aims to provide 2,000 backpacks filled with essential items such as winter suitable clothes including thermals, hats, gloves, t-shirts and hoodies and toiletries including shower gel and deodorant.
Mayor Coun. Clive Hooper told the Observer: “I was delighted to have been invited to the Avenue Care Home to meet all the residents and staff, and talk to them over a cup of coffee.
“Everyone was so welcoming.
“I was most impressed that the home has arrangements for regular activities sessions and the home’s involvement with the Hand on Heart Campaign to pack essential kits for rough sleepers, vulnerable groups and the disadvantaged was inspired.
“It gave everyone a great opportunity to be engaged in such a worthwhile project and achieve a sense of fulfillment from doing so.”
Beta Charitable Trust and 30 other organisations, who provide food and poverty relief are helping with the campaign.
The full team of volunteers includes 60 families, schools, scouts’ clubs, and elderly residents from care homes including those from Avenue.
More than 100 people will be helping to distribute the winter essential backpacks.
Novembers’ 30 Day Hand on Heart Challenge will see at least one distribution per day, in locations across the UK including London, Birmingham, Leeds, Leicester, Manchester, and Southend.
Hand on Heart co-founder, Afzal Pradhan BEM said: “The UK is grappling with a growing homelessness crisis caused by a combination of rising rents, a shortage of social and affordable housing and the cost-of-living crisis leaving more people vulnerable to eviction.
“Hand on Heart has witnessed firsthand the direct repercussions of these challenges. Our outreach homeless initiatives have seen a substantial surge of over 20 per cent in the number of service users seeking our assistance during the start of the November 20-Day Homeless Challenge.
“It is with great concern that we have also observed an alarming trend of families with young children attending our service sessions.”
Since the campaigns launch in 2019, 24,000 winter packs have been handed out including 10,000 blankets, 1,000 sleeping bags, 2,000 hot water bottles, and jackets as well as 4,000 school backpacks given to children from disadvantaged or low-income backgrounds.