A lack of help for the homeless spurred a kind group to take matters into their own hands.
Carly Michael, Joanne Rutherford and Emily Davidson started a Facebook page to raise awareness about homelessness and get people to donate supplies.
A week later, the friends have 1,000 followers and have begun handing out soup, sleeping bags and gloves all over Newcastle.
Carly, from Wallsend, said she decided to start the page after it became impossible to find somewhere in the city to volunteer. She said:
“Me and my friends wanted to work in a soup kitchen on Christmas Day and we couldn’t find anywhere to do it. Everywhere was already full up, and there just aren’t enough of them
“So we set up our own page on Facebook and it went through the roof. We’ve got over 1,000 likes already and it’s only been a week.
“Now we’re handing out flasks of soup, sleeping bags, hats and gloves all around the city centre.”
Carly, 30, along with her friends Joanne and Emily, are asking people to donate what they can over the Christmas period.
The ladies plan to hand out any supplies they are sent to people sleeping rough on the streets of Newcastle.
Carly said news of the death of homeless man Darren Robson in Whitley Bay last week spurred her and her friends on to do something to help. She said:
“Winter is fast moving and it’s getting colder out there.
“Hearing news of the poor homeless man setting himself on fire to keep warm by accident really makes it hit home.
“I just thought we definitely had to do something to help.”
Carly, who is training to be a support worker, said she has been blown away by the amount of people who have already donated.
“People do want to help out there, but I don’t think there are enough hostels – if there were, there would be less people on the streets at night and more opportunities for volunteers to help.
“We’ll be handing out shoeboxes full of things – I think it’s nice to give them a box that is made up personally by someone, if the box is missing any essentials then we will give the person these things too but in a separate bag.
Carly, who will be going around the city with suitcases full of supplies, said she has become passionate about the issue. She said: “I don’t think anyone should have to be on the streets in this day and age.
““That man shouldn’t have been forced to do that to stay warm, no one should have to die that way.”
“Everyone should have somewhere to sleep at night.”
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 26 Nov 2014