A Preston woman has raised a small army of volunteers to help the city’s rough sleepers.Advertisement
With the Foxton Centre able to cater for around 20 people per night in the freezing temperatures, Roxanne Carter felt there were others to be helped.
During Wednesday (28 February) as temperatures overnight fell as low as minus five in the city the collections began.
Donations have been flowing in for Roxanne’s effort, clothes, blankets, sleeping bags and more have been given out to those sleeping rough.
The 33-year-old from Preston said: “With the weather being the worse it has been for years I have taken it upon myself to raise awareness and support the homeless.
“The service the Foxton Centre provides is fantastic but as you can imagine they can only take in so many people.
“My friends and I began collecting donations and sorting them to make bags of items to hand out to the homeless.”
Each bag contains a t-shirt, jumper, coat, foot wear, hats, gloves, scarves, underwear, blanket, flask, toiletries, information leaflets, helpline numbers, sleeping bag and an umbrella.
Read more: Homeless man dies after collapsing in the Flag Market
Roxanne said: “We know this is not providing accommodation but we know we have the spare time to help and support these people.
“It shows, as a city, we can come together, not judge people, and give people the time and comfort.
“It does make a difference. The slightest thing can make a difference.”
Hundreds of items have been donated to Roxanne’s effort and handed out since Wednesday.
Social media has been the main way Roxanne has organised the collections and donations as well as working with Andrew Forster at the Wellington Inn pub who has been providing bags for donations and a base for sorting the donated items.
Roxanne said: “We have had a few negative comments such as ‘how is that going to make a difference, it’s not what people need’.
“Well, we know it is making a difference. We will be in the city each night to support the homeless during this awful weather.”
Read more: How you can help the Foxton Centre as the cold spell continues
Donations are still needed, with Roxanne saying sleeping bags are in particular need. Anyone who wants to donate is asked to contact Roxanne through Facebook.
Roxanne and her team will be outside Waterstones on Saturday (3 March) from around 8.45pm to hand out the packages collected for the homeless.
Roxanne isn’t the only person who has been moved to help the city’s homeless.
Joshua Holden and friends gathered together dozens of items for those sleeping rough and gave them out on the Flag Market during Thursday (1 March) evening.
More than 50 people gathered on Preston's Flag Market this evening to give out duvets, clothes and more to the city's rough sleepers. Any additional items are going to @TheFoxtonCentre. Remember, here is how you can help: https://t.co/z2KIZVG85n pic.twitter.com/yNapP0pEzW
— Blog Preston (@blogpreston) March 1, 2018
Additional items were donated to the Foxton Centre.