This week, the Wrap up coat collection has launched in Brighton and Hove for the first time
Hand On charity first launched the campaign in London in 2011 and has inspired many similar collections across the country. Wrap Up relies on volunteers to collect old and second-hand winter coats from members of the public. The coats collected are then distributed to local charities that support vulnerable people across the city such as the elderly, homeless and low-income families.
Brighton and Hove has the second largest homeless population in England, according to recent figures. Though Brighton and Hove City Council have some measures in place to help people who are at risk, and may be sleeping rough, some people in the city are still very much dependent on the help of local charities.
Beverly Sawyers, the Vice President of American Express in Brighton said: “We were particularly keen to bring the campaign to Brighton and Hove given the growing numbers of vulnerable people in the city.”
Teaming up with American Express and the Rotary Club, Brighton and Hove have opened up several donation points across the city for members of the public to drop off their unwanted winter clothes.
The charities that will be distributing the coats collected during the campaign are: Sussex Homeless Support, The Brighton and Hove City Mission, The Clock Tower Sanctuary, Off the Fence, Brighton and Hove YMCA, RISE, Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project, First Base Brighton Housing Trust, Heads On Charity, Emmaus and Brighton Women’s Centre.
Kate Darach, a support worker at Brighton Women’s Centre said: “This time of year it’s great to have donations of warm things because a lot of our women have very low income and can’t afford to buy these items for themselves”
Public donations of coats and jackets as well as hats, gloves and scarves, can be made from the 11th until 13th November at:
- Brighton Train Station concourse – 7am – 11am
- Hove Train Station concourse – 7am – 11am
- Age UK, Prestonville Road Office, Brighton – 10am – 4pm
- St George Church, St George’s Road, Brighton – 9.30am – 2.30pm
- St John the Evangelist’s Church, Preston Village – 9am -11am
- Hangleton Community Centre, Hove – 9am – 9pm
As well as this, students at the University of Brighton, the University of Sussex and BHASVIC can donate coats at selected drop-off points on campus.
Robert Griffiths, a spokesperson for the Rotary Club said: “We are a big-hearted city and we’re calling on the compassion and generosity of residents to care enough to gift a warm coat”
Campaigners say they are aiming to gather at least 2000 winter coats over the three collection days, and they hope to build momentum year-on-year to lend a helping hand to those in need.