Rucksack project pulls in donations

Hayley Mullins receives some donations from Stanley Hardham, 10.  Picture: Keith Woodland
Hayley Mullins receives some donations from Stanley Hardham, 10. Picture: Keith Woodland

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DOZENS of people donated items to help rough sleepers across the city.

The Rucksack Project aims to help people who are homeless by providing them with clothes, food and toiletries.

Sammy Ellen helps to run the project with Joanna Vines.

Sammy said: ‘This is our fourth year for the Rucksack Project and we think in the past three years we have had donations of around 10,500 rucksacks which is great.’

On Saturday the group took over a room at Fratton Park to collect donations and pass them out to homeless services.

Paula Martin, service manager at Hope House Hostel, said: ‘Last year when we came to the appeal we took away about 200 rucksacks and sleeping bags.

‘We ran out in July and we had nothing left to give to people.

‘We can only take a certain amount of people and we are seeing more and more people that are finding space to sleep in our car park.

‘The least we can do is give something to keep them warm overnight.’

Hope House Hostel is run by The Salvation Army and provides a range of services.

Paula added: ‘It is amazing the way these girls pull this together year on year.

The generosity of people that actually donate really shows that people do care about what is happening out on the streets and they do care that people don’t have the ability to keep themselves warm or don’t have a roof over their head.’

For this year’s appeal the team hope to give out 3,000 rucksacks.

Sammy said: ‘We get donations from private individuals, companies that have done collections on behalf of people and we have the Tesco Community Champions helping us today as well.’

Joanna added: ‘Thank you to everyone who has donated.’