THE HERALD and Gazette needs our readers to help spread the warmth this winter by taking part in our new campaign.
Imagine if you could not get warm or dry. Something as simple as a coat or blanket would make a huge difference.
Our Winter Warmers campaign aims to encourage people to give their unwanted coats, hats, scarves, gloves and blankets to help those less fortunate through the winter months.
Herald and Gazette group editor, Colin Channon, said: “The great thing about this campaign is there’s no financial burden – you can donate something you already have.
“We all have lots of old coats and scarves tucked away in our cupboards, so dig them out, donate them and help make a huge difference to someone else’s life this winter.”
This campaign will benefit two different groups of people in our communities – the elderly and homeless.We have teamed up with Worthing Churches Homeless Projects (WCHP), and Age UK West Sussex, which is based in Littlehampton and also offers services in Worthing, Lancing and Shoreham.
Sue Stevens, WCHP PR and fund-raising manager, said: “Worthing Churches Homeless Projects are very grateful to the Herald and Gazette for running this campaign. We work with more than 500 homeless or insecurely-housed people every year, many of whom only have what they last left home with, others have had items stolen whilst living on the street.
“They come to us with the bare minimum. In the winter, until we can get them into our accommodation, they are susceptible to the cold weather. Imagine if you couldn’t get warm or dry, you are already in a bad situation and it just gets worse.
“Worthing has many people living in poverty and it is wonderful if the rest of the community could pull together to help them.
“Our day centre is being visited by around 25 people every day, many of whom are living on the streets whilst waiting for spaces to become available in our hostels.
“They feel lonely, uncared for, desperate and incredibly sad. By making these donations you can help us lay the foundation for their recovery. With your help we can transform their lives, moving them off the streets and improving our community.”
Caron Lewis, head of quality and data at Age UK West Sussex said: “We are delighted to be working with the Herald and Gazette to promote this campaign. By donating a coat, or other winter clothing, you can help vulnerable older people stay warm and well this winter.
“Each winter, an extra 200 older people die every day from the effects of cold weather. This winter, with the rise in energy bills, some older people will be faced with the choice of heating their home or eating.
“Turning off their heating due to the expense is a reality for some older people.”
Age UK West Sussex is an independent charity which has been working with older people across the county for more than 50 years.
In West Sussex, poverty affects one in five older people and 10 per cent of the population aged 60 and over live in low-income households.
The charity is also launching its own Spread the Warmth campaign this month and will be releasing a report to show how older people cope during winter.
How to get involved
Any layer you can spare will help. Individuals, schools, businesses and community groups can all take part in our Winter Warmers campaign.
The paper will run stories about some of the items which are donated, showing who has donated an item and who has received it.
If you want to get involved, call reporter Sarah Dale on 01903 282363.
You can donate your item at the following places:
-Worthing Herald office, Cannon House Chatsworth Road, Worthing, BN11 1NA
-Worthing Churches Homeless Projects charity shop, 117 Montague Street, Worthing, BN11 3BP
-Age UK West Sussex charity shop, 15B Surrey Street, Littlehampton.