City’s homeless benefit from big donations of rucksacks

rw images from Simon Hart

From: Simon Hart <>

Even though George V proclaimed all German titles were to be given up by his family a century ago (July 17 1917), there is still physical evidence in our city of the Germanic royal house that once existed. Two commemoration stones relating to members of the royal house previous to the House of Windsor are so readily a part of the fabric of our daily lives but are probably in the most part overlooked.

A walk along Queen Street and on the corner with Aylward Street will present a building with a foundation stone that was laid by HRH Princess Henry of Battenberg in 1912. This was the married title of Queen Victoria's daughter Beatrice which was relinquished on 14 July 1917. From 17 July 1917 she was known as HRH the Princess Beatrice.

A visit to Sainsburys foyer in Commercial Road will provide the opportunity to see a commemoration stone for the opening of the Child's Ward of the Royal Hospital in 1909 by HH Princess Victoria of Schleswig

Four arrested after police crackdown in Commercial Road

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A hat, a scarf and a pair of gloves may not seem like much – but for anyone sleeping on the streets this winter it can make a huge difference.

And this year’s Rucksack Project Portsmouth saw people across the city donate more than 3,000 rucksacks to help those in need this Christmas.

The donated rucksacks were filled with warm clothes, sleeping bags, tins of food and toiletries to help the homeless during the cold winter months.

One charity which received rucksacks was LifeHouse which runs a support centre and soup kitchen in Albert Road, Southsea.

They recently distributed the rucksacks to the users of their service.

Lesley Wenden, a PR assistant for the cause, said: ‘The distribution was very successful and very gratefully received. We even had our own Father Christmas who gave them out.

‘The rucksacks were very much appreciated and the people who received this gift would like to say a big thank you to all the kind people who made this possible.’

The project is an initiative to help homeless people particularly during the Christmas period.

Lesley added: ‘The Rucksack Challenge shows people genuinely care about those in need and it gives those people a boost at Christmas.

‘We are very grateful for all donations but we do find they increase at Christmas.

‘However, homelessness is an all-year-round problem so we have to be careful we don’t run out throughout the rest of the year.’

The LifeHouse is a registered charity and relies on volunteers.

It is hoping individuals and organisations will help raise funds to allow it to expand.

‘Anyone can find themselves down on their luck and feel as if everything is going against them,’ said Lesley.

‘We have people from all walks of life with a variety of reasons of why they may find themselves in need. Just making their life a little easier is what this is all about.’

For more information about LifeHouse visit