Posted on Wednesday 14th December 2016
Helping Hearts began over 3 years ago with a flask and biscuits, just walking around Stockport. We then began to serve food out of the back of a car in St Marys church car park on a Friday. Now we cover Manchester too.
We are currently not a registered charity, however, we have opened an account to enable us to apply to HMRC to become a recognised charitable organisation. At present, we fund the majority of what we do ourselves, with the help of donations of items through the Facebook page.
We see 42 men and 17 women on a regular basis, aged between 17 and 58 years old. We take home cooked food out to those who need it, never taking anything we wouldn’t eat ourselves. We also take clothes, underwear, sleeping bags, chocolate, crisps, vitamins, toiletries and women’s sanitary products. Sareena and Diane go out taking supplies to our homeless, starting at around 7pm and regularly staying out until 1am.
We currently have over 800 people on our Facebook page, some of whom regularly donate food and clothing, whilst others help by raising awareness. The Trafford Centre now support is by cooking food on the 1st Friday of the month, which we then take out and distribute.
More importantly, we spend time talking and listening to our lads and girls, this can be the difference between seeing them again, or them not being able to cope for one more night on the streets. It isn’t always the fact they are sleeping rough that affects their mental health, it is the lack of someone to turn too when they need support, they are isolated and lonely.
We’ve had some wonderful success stories, helping people into accommodation, employment and rehabilitation. We visit people when they are in hospital, taking necessary items for them and seeing them most days in order to discourage them from self-discharging. Although in hospital they have a bed and food, there is nothing worse than lying there without one single visitor, whilst other patients are surrounded by friends and family.
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