Kind Bill thanks Portsmouth for donating Costa and Greggs vouchers and presents for the homeless

KIND-HEARTED Bill Shannon has thanked the community for showing Christmas spirit and donating to the less fortunate.

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 4:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th December 2019, 4:30 pm

Bill, who runs Help Us Support the Homeless, has spent the last three years collecting shoeboxes and filling them with presents donated from the community to give out to the homeless over the festive season.

This year he has 46 shoe boxes and has also collected Costa and Greggs vouchers.

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Some of the presents that Bill has wrapped up at the Safestore, Fratton Way, Portsmouth. Picture: Habibur Rahman

He said: ‘I think the vouchers are a good idea because they can start the day with a bacon sandwich and a coffee which sorts anyone out in the morning.

‘The shoeboxes are filled with hats, gloves, toiletries, chocolate and snack bars because everyone deserves something at Christmas. They get donated to me and I go round and collect everything because I think if people are kind enough to donate things then I can go and get it from them.’

Retired civil engineer Bill got his passion for helping people from his dad who was the president of a charity group in Ireland.

He added: ‘I do it because I love it and my dad always wanted to help people. I am retired now so I can give back and help people. There is nothing better than filling my car with hot food and delivering it all to the homeless people I know on the streets.

Bill Shannon with the presents all wrapped up and ready at the Safestore, Fratton Way, Portsmouth. Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘Some of the presents I have made are personalised because I see those people so much but I also have extra and canvas bags full of treats as well to give out to anyone I see.’

Bill wanted to thank Mark Dunford for donating clothing, Katherine Moffitt for donating £130 of Greggs and Costa vouchers, Baffled Coffee House, Councillors Steve Pitt and Suzy Horton, Royal Albert Day Centre and Holly at All Unique Weddings and Gifts in Waterlooville.

Earlier this week Bill gave out presents at the Robert Dolling Project’s Christmas dinner at St Agatha’s Church.

One Christmas meal attendee told The News: ‘It is nice here because the food is good and you get support. It is also not just for the homeless either as there are people here who can't afford to heat or have nothing to cook with where they live so this is place they can come.’

The project is entering its third year and volunteers say they have served over 3,000 meals.

Paul Hartley said: ‘We give them a good meal and somewhere to go. We have lots of volunteers and people are so generous across religions and different communities.’