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Unity Outreach Glossop spreads Christmas cheer for the homeless
Thursday 20th December 2018 @ 10:10 by Lauren Entwistle

UNITY Outreach Glossop have smashed their donation goal in order to give homeless people in Manchester a festive meal and help them stay warm this Christmas.

The organisation frequently goes out into the city to give out warm clothing, sleeping bags, thermal wear, food supplies and even a hot home-cooked meal – with this week’s seasonal offering being turkey muffins with festive trimmings.

It’s especially important to help the homeless as winter hits, as many are simply unprepared as temperatures drop and have no choice but to brave the streets. On Tuesday night a group of ten headed out in bitter weather to give out over 200 bags full of donated items as part of their weekly outreach, with the bags’ contents collected from the joint efforts of the community.

Earlier in the month they asked for as many bags as possible to be filled as part of their Christmas appeal, with Glossop going above and beyond the call, receiving so many that Unity Outreach have given some to another volunteer group who take a different donation route through Manchester.

Organiser and group-founder Jolene Hampson, 37, said the response of Glossop has been amazing: “It is absolutely fantastic, we’ve had support from local people and businesses who have all come together to help us.

“One of the pubs put on a raffle to raise funds for Outreach and one person anonymously donated a huge chest freezer full of Christmas food to be auctioned off – so all money from that goes towards buying thermals and socks that will be given out.

“Tesco Glossop donated two turkey crowns, a hundred muffins and all the stuffing and cranberry sauce we’d need – we are incredibly grateful.”

The team, brightly dressed in festive jumpers with Christmas lights decorating their trolleys not only give out food and warm clothing, but also stop to have a chat at what can be the loneliest time of the year for those living on the streets.

Jolene added: “It really saddens us to see people struggling and if I could give everyone a house I would – but it just isn’t possible. So if we can have a proper chat to them, lend an ear and make them smile, then that’s great.”

But there is always a lull in donations for most Outreach groups between Christmas through to the New Year, which are often the coldest months, so Jolene is keen to keep up the great work Glossop has done so far to help those in need.

If you’d like to volunteer or want to see a full list of what to fill bags with, you can get in touch through their Facebook page here: