FEATURE: Winter Warmers give a helping hand in midst of harsh conditions

18 August 2015 .......      Stock Picture.
 Homeless sleeping rough in the centre of Leeds. Picture Tony Johnson
18 August 2015 ....... Stock Picture. Homeless sleeping rough in the centre of Leeds. Picture Tony Johnson

Living on the streets is unenviable. But when winter starts to bite, it can prove to be unbearable for those without a roof over their heads.

Now, a new group has launched in Mirfield that aims to help out the people who are homeless.

A recent study by charity Shelter found that one in every 2,122 people in Kirklees is homeless.

Winter Warmers aims to provide vital items of clothing and food to help charitable organisations, which will then pass them on.

Sarah Watkinson set up the group after a trip into Leeds.

She said: “We were walking through the centre of Leeds and we saw two men huddled up under the bridge and it was my mum’s reaction that got me.

“She said I can’t believe that in 2017 people have to live on the streets.

“It made me think more needs to be done.

“Everybody is different and many people give money out but I give people food and drink, as I think it’s the most useful thing to give.”

Sarah, 44, works as a quality auditor for the Yorkshire Ambulance Service and says since posting it online many friends and colleagues have helped spread the word.

Street-begging will be the focus of a Preston business forum

Street-begging will be the focus of a Preston business forum

“The response was fantastic,” she added.

“When I put it on the Facebook group, the response was overwhelming.

“We’ve already got 10 volunteers.

“We’re looking for people who are struggling to get in touch.

“We want to raise awareness and help people in Mirfield and wider Kirklees.

“Everybody deserves to be safe and warm.

“It’s a basic human need.

“We now need companies to come forward and help donate.

“I want to promote Mirfield as a fantastic community.

“The offers of help came in daily and there’s just so much support already.”

People are able to drop off items and the group wants to donate clothing that will especially help during the cold winter months.

Underwear, hats, gloves, scarves and sleeping bags are the most sought-after donations.

There are a number of drop-off points including Missing Label and St Mary’s Church in Mirfield as well as St John’s Church in Hopton and Hopton Cricket Club’s cafe.

To find out more, visit the Facebook page by searching ‘Winter Warmers Mirfield’.