Winter coats needed for Ryde’s homeless

Residents are being asked to dig deep into the backs of their wardrobes and donate any unwanted winter coats, gloves, hats and scarves.

For the last few years, a community hub in Ryde which provides a range of services in a redundant church has devoted an outside area to items of clothing for the homeless to pick up when needed.

This year, donations can also be made to The Co-operative Funeralcare in Ryde which is just off the High Street in St John’s Road.

Sam Walker, Funeral Co-ordinator at the branch which is part of Southern Co-op, said: “We’d heard about the space at the collections being made by Aspire Ryde for outdoor clothing and wanted to help.

“It could literally be a lifeline for people who don’t have anywhere else to go during the winter.”

The charity is asking for donations of outdoor and waterproof coats, long scarves, adult hats and gloves.

Julie Croydon, Project Support at Aspire Ryde, said: “By putting a selection of items in our porch, it means they are available 24/7. If someone is really cold then it is there when they need it and we replace the goods straightaway.

“We also have free food in the same area which includes stock that has been donated by local stores after its best before date.

“We don’t require any ID or vouchers and people don’t have to be homeless to use it. We just ask them to be honest and only take what they really need.”

Aspire Ryde works with lots of partner organisations to bring people and services together to be able to transform lives and give people the best chance in life.

They transformed the old church in Dover Street into a unique space and a community hub to ensure that there was something for everyone on site.

Aspire is hoping to redevelop the space further in the next few years to enable a safe space for people to go during the day.

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