Muslim charity launches winter coat appeal for homeless

Members of the public are being called on to donate unwanted coats to help the needy during the winter months

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The Independent Online

A Muslim charity is calling on members of the public to donate their coats in a bid to provide warmth for homeless and needy people in Manchester warm during the winter months.

Human Appeal, a British international development and relief charity in southern Manchester, has launched a campaign called Wrap Up Manchester, which will collect unwanted coats from the public and give them directly to those in need around the city.

The charity is working in partnership with Hands On London, an organisation that has run a similar campaign in the capital over the past six years.

The project has organised nine locations across Greater Manchester, donated by Safestore Self Storages, where people can drop off their coats.

Donated coats will then be distributed to homeless shelters, refugee centres, elderly organisation, women's refuges, children centres and other charities.

Samra Said, Human Appeal’s UK Programmes Coordinator, said there is a significant need for warm clothing in Manchester at a time when homelessness is rapidly growing.

Ms Said told The Independent: “It’s the first time we’ve done something of this nature. We’ve done a call out to all the organisations in Manchester whoever is in dire need. So far we’ve got 500 people down as needing a coat, and we hope to provide for them all.

"Homelessness has worsened and the figures are scary. 100,000 people are homeless across the UK and 13.2 million are living in borderline poverty."

According to the council’s annual rough sleeper count, nearly twice as many people are sleeping on the streets of Manchester as last year. Seventy people were recorded in one night in December, compared with 43 on the same evening in 2014. Meanwhile there were just 10 in 2011.

Jon Meech, chief executive of Hands On London, said:  “We are really excited that our friends at Human Appeal and will be running Wrap Up Manchester for 2016.

"Wrap Up London is now in its sixth year. With the support of Human Appeal, the most vulnerable in our two great cities will be able to keep a little warmer this winter. Human Appeal and the people of Manchester.”

Earlier this week Theresa May unveiled a £40 million package designed to prevent homelessness by intervening to help individuals and families before they end up on the streets.

Wrap Up Manchester will run between 7-18 November. Donations can be made on here.