Wiltshire Publications

Support for homeless campaign continues to grow

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WESTBURY local, Sarah Smith, is continuing with her campaign to help the homeless in the South West area.

Sarah launched her campaign in late 2017, creating a Facebook group ‘Helping the homeless in the South West’, appealing for donations of supplies to pass on to those in need. As her campaign continues to grow, Sarah is on the look out for more donations and volunteers to join her team.

Sarah told White Horse News, “This all started making shoeboxes of supplies to help the homeless for a charity, but they stopped collecting in the local area, so I started doing it myself and went from there. It’s mind-blowing to go from a few shoeboxes to having a team of people that are able to go out and help and support people as often as we do. It’s been quite a soul-searching journey. You step back and think how cruel life can be – it’s so easy to stumble in life, and this could happen to anyone.

“The more I understand the plight of homeless people and the more people I meet, the more I want to do to help. They are such a lost community – more and more people are becoming homeless. I want to reach out to these people, some of them don’t even have someone to talk to.”

Sarah and her team visit cities and towns across the South West to distribute donations of clothes, shoes, toiletries, non-perishable foods, and camping equipment. They also respond to phonecalls and messages of individuals in need. 

“If we hear of someone, we will do our upmost to help them,” said Sarah. “In Westbury people come and go, but there are a couple of people we support on an ongoing basis – some are passing through. But there is a community of homeless people in the local Westbury area. Sometimes all they want is a coffee and a chat, or we will help with supplies like tents or clothing.

“In the larger cities there is a real demand for help. One day in Bristol we helped 60 people. On Friday during the half-term holidays, we helped around 30 people in Bath.

“The response from those people that we help has been amazing, there have been no negative responses. They are grateful, humble and polite. We have trollies full of supplies, but no-one takes more than they need. Sometimes all they want is someone to talk to.”

Sarah and her team recently acquired a new storage unit allowing them to accept more donations from the public. Sarah said, “Our Facebook is constantly updated with information about what donations we need. I am also looking for more volunteers to help us distribute the items. Any offers of help would be gratefully received.”

To contact Sarah for more information, search for ‘Helping the homeless in the South West’ on Facebook.

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