Homeless people in Portsmouth to get an egg-stra special gift

Billy Shannon with Bev Saunders as the Easter Bunny
Billy Shannon with Bev Saunders as the Easter Bunny
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HOMELESS people will be getting an egg-stra special gift this Easter thanks to caring volunteers in Portsmouth.

Members of the Helping Hands Portsmouth group will be handing out Easter eggs to the city’s most needy residents on Good Friday.

It comes after an appeal by the team to the people of Portsmouth, which saw kindhearted residents donating around 200 chocolatey treats.

Billy Shannon, of Fratton, is part of the organisation and said he was overwhelmed by the city’s generosity.

He said: ‘It’s gobsmacking. This really will mean an awful lot for the homeless.

‘We go out and offer food to those on the street every other Sunday. Their faces light up when they get something like a chocolate bar.

‘So I can think of nothing better than giving them an Easter egg.’

More than 200 people stopped to talk to the small band of volunteers during the collection, in Commercial Road, Portsmouth, last week.

Billy said people dug deep, with some shoppers even stopping what they were doing to buy several eggs for the appeal.

The group has since launched a fundraiser to pay for more eggs and other items to donate to the needy.

Billy added the situation in the city was desperate.

‘One person told me he was outside the back of Iceland scavenging for food but there was nothing there,’ he said.

‘He is looking for food while there are people opposite eating meals for £20 or £30. It’s heartbreaking.’

The effort comes days after The News backed an appeal to convert a double-decker bus into a homeless shelter.

Joanne Vines, founder of the Rucksack Project – which helps homeless people across the city – is behind the appeal.

Bus firm Stagecoach has already donated one of its vehicles.

Joanne said the team was hoping to raise £5,000 to convert the bus into a shelter.

The News’ editorial team is holding a fundraising run. To donate, see justgiving.com/crowdfunding/TheNews-runningforthebus