Community project to keep vulnerable warm this winter

L-R:  Kerry Stevens (Observer newspaper sales) , Margaret Sears (church trustee), Nicky Roper (church trustee), Rev Chris Sears MBE (church trustee) and Maria Hudd (Observer chief reporter)
L-R: Kerry Stevens (Observer newspaper sales) , Margaret Sears (church trustee), Nicky Roper (church trustee), Rev Chris Sears MBE (church trustee) and Maria Hudd (Observer chief reporter)

The Observer has launched a community scheme to help keep vulnerable people in Hastings warm this winter.

The project launched on Tuesday at His Place Community Church, on Robertson Street, and allows people to drop off coats, hats, scarves and gloves they no longer want or need, and for people in need to pick up some winter woollies for free.

Observer chief reporter Maria Hudd said: “We shared a post on the Observer Facebook page a few weeks ago showing the scheme in operation in another area, and the response it got was so overwhelmingly positive, we decided to introduce a similar initiative here.

“Temperatures continue to drop and if we can help just one person stay a little bit warmer on the streets, then this has been worthwhile.

“If you have any old coats hanging in the back of your wardrobe, or any hats and gloves in the attic you no longer need, please think about bringing them down to His Place Community Church so they can be passed on to somebody in need.”

His Place Community Church is already running a number of schemes to help those in need. Reverend Chris Sears MBE said: “We have a voucher that can be used, so that anybody on the street that’s in need of help, in need of tea or coffee or something to eat, they can be given a voucher by someone who comes in and buys one.

“We don’t give money to folks on the street because it’s not a wise thing to do, but if somebody wants to help, they can come to us, we can sell you a voucher, and then the person is given the voucher and can come in and collect their food and drink.”

Vouchers will be available from next week in quantities of £2 for soup and a sandwich, or £1 for a hot beverage.

On Saturday, January 28 and Saturday, February 4, the church will open from 10pm to 4am for people who need a place to sit and relax after a night out on the town. It is part of a pilot that, if successful, could be rolled out across the country.

His Place Community Church is open 10am to 3pm every day except Wednesdays and Sundays.

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