Hospitality volunteers donate £37k to homeless

By Alice Leader contact

- Last updated on GMT

A helping hand: kits are being prepared to help rough sleepers stay warm this winter
A helping hand: kits are being prepared to help rough sleepers stay warm this winter

Related tags: Homelessness

Volunteers across the hospitality sector have offered a helping hand to support Only A Pavement Away (OAPA) charity distribute ‘Winter Warmth’ kits to rough sleepers across the UK.

OAPA has estimated the value of its helpers’ contributions to be in the realm of £37,000, including their co-operation to provide 3,000 items of clothing and blankets and 18,000 tea bags.

The team rallied together ahead of the huge Arctic blast that sent temperatures plummeting last weekend (29 November), helping OAPA pack the kits and hand them out in London, Brighton, Birmingham and Norwich.

Pack the goodies

OAPA CEO and founder Greg Mangham said: “I have been absolutely overwhelmed by people’s generosity.

“We set up various collection points across our target cities to accept blankets, coats and other items of clothing and we were completely inundated with donations.

“We also had hordes of people from across the hospitality industry give up their morning to help pack the goodies into special waterproof kit bags and hand them out to the homeless.”

Loss of ​accommodation

With an estimated 320,000 homeless people living in Britain, OAPA aims to have placed 800 homeless people in jobs in the hospitality industry by the end of 2021.

According to Shelter, individual circumstance and structural factors, like unemployment, are the primary causes for their loss of accommodation.

OAPA aims to have placed 800 homeless people in jobs in the hospitality industry by the end of 2021.

Bitterly cold temperatures

Greg Mangham said: “Only A Pavement Away was founded to help get people off the streets and into work in the hospitality industry and, to date, we have managed to place one homeless person a week in work since we launched the charity. 

“Our Winter Warmth​ campaign was designed to help raise awareness about OAPA, because with more financial donations and more hospitality companies signing up to employ those who are homeless, we can get more people into work.

“With bitterly cold temperatures predicted from this weekend, it couldn’t have been timelier, and we met many people who were incredibly grateful for the donations today.”

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