[dropcap type=”circle”]Stallholders at Altrincham Market have launched a campaign to collect coats and jackets to donate to Manchester’s growing homeless community.
Don Grant, Lesley Britton, Hannah Burns and Jacqui Evans are asking visitors to bring any spare warm clothing that they no longer use to the market so that they can be passed on to Homeless Project Manchester.
Recent research has found that there are more than 500 long-term rough sleepers in Greater Manchester, with over 3,000 people homeless when taking into account those in temporary accommodation, couch-surfing, or in bed and breakfasts.
The collection days will take place at Altrincham Market on Sunday 25th and Tuesday 27th November.
Don, an artist who sells his pieces at the market, has volunteered for the homeless charity for nearly two years.
He said: “The project was started nearly two years ago by a group of like-minded friends who really wanted to make a difference in giving some respite to the growing number of rough sleepers and marginalised individuals we were seeing on Manchester’s streets.
“The volunteers fund this project out of their own pockets and run it around full-time jobs and busy family lives.
“Anyone of us, at any time, could lose everyone or everything. Some people do not have anyone that they can chat to and help to point them in the right direction. That’s where we come in.”
Shoppers can drop off their coats, as well as clean sleeping bags, blankets, warm winter clothes, thermal underwear, socks, vests, socks, boots, hold-all bags, and other cold-weather items.
Once all the spare coats have been collected, they will be taken to warehouses, sorted and graded before being distributed to those in need across Manchester.
The stallholders are also holding a raffle with prizes from several of the market stalls, including jewellery, ceramics, essential oils, accessories, homewares, food and wines.
Tickets can be bought from Lesley, Hannah and Jacqui up until November 25th for £3 and all proceeds will go towards the homeless charity.
Lesley Britton, from Mayfly Jewellery, added: “We need the coats in the back of your wardrobe that you no longer wear. If a coat doesn’t fit you or suit you any more, don’t keep it, donate it.
“We’ll take any colour, style or size. We want them all to help keep Manchester’s homeless warm this year.”