Friends join Wakefield Street Kitchen to provide city's homeless with essential are packs
Four friends have teamed up with Wakefield Street Kitchen to help the homeless with their new community based initiative, ‘Packed With Hope’.
Emma Smith, Flick Vooght, Marie Sallis and Stacey Farrar are raising funds in order to assemble backpacks containing essential items and distribute them to those in need in the district.
The initiative started just after Christmas when the four ladies wanted to do something to help the vulnerable members of the community through the pandemic.
That’s when ‘Packed With Hope’ began, an initiative which relies on cash donations from individuals and organisations, so the team can buy essential items, of which the homeless and vulnerable are in desperate need of.
Each essential item will be used to make up a care pack, containing foil blankets, water bottles, warm and essential clothes, food items, wet wipes, soap, a first aid kit, hand sanitizer, face masks, sanitary products, books and more.
Stacey Farrar said: “It just started off as a little project, but we’ve thrown our all into it and it’s really escalated.
“We wanted to do it for the homeless and vulnerable, targeting areas like Wakefield and Leeds.
“We distributed our first set of backpacks on Monday through Wakefield Street Kitchen with the help of founders Anna and Andrew Howard.
“We turned to Wakefield Street Kitchen right away for help and advice, because we wanted to speak to organisations who are experienced and know what the local vulnerable and homeless communities need.
“We all have the same mission and we distributed 30 bags together, the future of ‘Packed With Hope’ relies entirely on kind donations from the community.”
Touched by the team’s efforts, a number of businesses have banded together to help get ‘Packed With Hope’ off the ground - Bargain Waste Disposal Limited, Busy Izzy Gifts, Zendium, Kind Snacks, Capretti Limited, Spectrum Community Health CIC and Alex Hughes who makes face masks, are now all on board.
The ‘Packed With Hope’ team have set up a linktree, so those who wish to contribute can make a donation or purchase an essential item through the team’s wish list.
Stacey said: “It’s important to remember that everyone’s going through some awful hardships at the moment and we hope that giving something back will help to make a difference.
“Anyone could end up homeless, it makes you realise at times like this that nearly everybody is at risk losing their jobs and houses.
“At the moment, the streets are quieter and there’s so much less money going around, that’s why we are all determined to do as much as possible to help out.
“We can’t thank all the businesses and individuals enough that have donated money and used their own time to make and contribute essentials for the backpacks, we’re looking forward to distributing more.”
To find out more see the Packed With Hope Facebook page