Businesses and community groups are rallying to support homeless people in Harrogate this Christmas, after a campaign by the Harrogate Advertiser highlighted the extent of the problem.
Money raised by the Harrogate Lions at the big Christmas light switch on last week will be donated to St Peters Church to fund their breakfast club which feeds homeless and vulnerable people.
Ian Wood of the Harrogate Lions Club said: “We strongly believe it is such a good cause especially coming up to Christmas.
“The church is ensuring homeless people have a good start to Christmas.”
He added: “Homelessness is always an important cause but at Christmas time it is even more important. Christmas is a time for family and if some people haven’t got that it can be hard.
“Many churches are also offering Christmas lunches, giving people company and a hot meal at Christmas time which hopefully gives them a little bit of joy.”
Staff at Law firm Barber Titleys have donated food and blankets to the Harrogate Homeless Project.
Katrina McCluskie, marketing manager at the firm organised the donations.
She said: “We received a letter from the project and I read about it in the Advertiser so knew how much of an issue homelessness is.
“All of the staff were really on board, many of them said they hadn’t realised how much of a problem it was in Harrogate.”
Brian Turner, chairman of the trustees of Harrogate Homeless Project said the response from businesses had been great.
“We received a cheque from Bettys and Taylors for £500 which is very much appreciated. We have had a great response from businesses.
“I think Christmas time does resonate with people and it does bring it home to people the idea that people are sometimes less fortunate than themselves and it encourages people to help.”
Mr Turner said the hostel was busier than ever with the charity having to use B&B accomodation to house all the homeless people turning to them for help.
Next week the Friends of Harrogate Homeless Project will be holding their annual Christmas appeal.
Volunteers will be fundraising at the Victoria Centre from Monday December 2 to Saturday December 7.
Email Ackrill.News@ypn.co.uk with your ideas to help the homeless this Christmas.