Portsmouth Tesco throws its weight behind city’s homeless campaign

From left, Tesco Fratton's clothing manager Philippa Smith, fresh lead Ryan Faulkner, store manager Jon Roberts, customer services manager Sally Noice and community champion Gemma Morrison Picture: Sarah Standing (161624-8392)
From left, Tesco Fratton's clothing manager Philippa Smith, fresh lead Ryan Faulkner, store manager Jon Roberts, customer services manager Sally Noice and community champion Gemma Morrison Picture: Sarah Standing (161624-8392)

Police promoting safety messages at Guildhall Walk in Portsmouth

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HIGH street giant Tesco has backed The News’ campaign to help the area’s homeless people this Christmas.

Staff at the supermarket’s Tesco Extra store in Fratton Way, Fratton, have rallied to join the Show Them You Care This Christmas effort.

The fact that homelessness has doubled in the past year just shows that there is an absolute need to help

Gemma Morrison, Tesco community champion

The team has already answered a call from local homeless charities for help, by donating eight bags of new clothing to Hope House in Portsmouth.

The items, including socks, underwear and shirts, will be given to some of the area’s most vulnerable residents struggling to survive this winter.

Gemma Morrison is the community champion at the shop and was delighted to support the drive.

She said: ‘This is really needed.

‘The fact that homelessness has doubled in the past year just shows that there is an absolute need to help.’

The News’ campaign, launched on Monday, has already seen people donating food and supplies in the run-up to Christmas.

Tesco is now urging its customers to also come forward and support the community drive across the area.

The retailer already runs its own effort, which sees shoppers donating clothing and food in dedicated bins.

The store leads a scheme to donate some of its food stock, which is past its sell-by date but still perfectly good to eat, to worthy causes.

Gemma added: ‘We’re proud to be supporting the local community and know the people in Portsmouth are incredibly generous.

‘We will do whatever we can to support the city, the homeless and those facing food poverty.

‘We have three main aims that we look to achieve: supporting local food banks, improving food poverty and improving health.’

This year hundreds of people across the area will be waking up homeless this Christmas.

In Portsmouth there are some 37 people living 
rough on the street and more than 200 people without a home.

Last week Gosport was named as a homeless hotspot by national charity Shelter, which revealed one in 200 residents was without a home.

The charity’s head 
said the situation was a ‘tragedy’.