Charities across Leamington are beginning to stock up on Winter provisions this month in an attempt to offer support to the homeless population within Leamington.
To support those in need during the winter nights, Warwick District Council have a variety of local support centers and charities.
The Leamington Winter Support number is available every Friday and Saturday evening, and a Night Shelter opens its doors every Wednesday and Sunday to offer additional support.
Last year, the Leamington Night Shelter had 291 clients, according to the Warwick District Council.
A number of other local charities also run various operations such as soup kitchens, helplines, drop-in’s and meeting groups, to support the large number of homeless people within the local area.
The charity Helping Hands runs vital services including a regular soup kitchen and skills training sessions, designed “to increase motivation, self-esteem and [help people] to become more effective members of our society. The charity also provides household items that people cannot afford through their ‘House2Home’ scheme.
To fund these services over the winter period, the Nigh shelter will be re-running their popular shoebox appeal. People can donate shoeboxes decorated in Christmas wrapping paper, containing essentials such as toiletries, clothing and food.
The shelter are further urging people to buy food and coffee vouchers for people to spend at places like Costa Coffee and Coffee Architects in Leamington.
The charity will also be running a Sponsored Sleep Out on November 17th, which last year raised £13,000. The money raised from the event will go towards funding a storage system for the ‘House2Home’ project to hold and distribute household goods. There will be live entertainment, dinner, breakfast, hot drinks and each participant receives a free hat to keep warm throughout the night.
Other organisations, like the Salvation Army run a Way Ahead Project, providing drop-ins and facilities such as showers, kitchens and washing machines for the homeless. Both the Leamington Night Shelter and the LWS Night Shelter offer hot food and a place to stay, which is fundamental as temperatures start to drop. Over October, the LWS Night Shelter ran a ‘Socktober’ campaign to encourage donations of socks to keep people warm in advance of winter.
Helping Hands manager Lianne Kirkman told the Warwick Courier: “We have done this appeal every year for the last three years and it is amazingly supported by the local community. We give the shoeboxes out to the local homeless and those who are vulnerably housed – and to local hostels, refuges and to those at our soup kitchen.”
“We are also asking for people to give in an extra toy this year so we can give out a present to children.”