Woman makes Christmas hamper for homeless Eastbourne man

A woman has made a Christmas hamper for a homeless man she drives past every day in Eastbourne.

Friday, 16th December 2016, 5:51 pm
Updated Saturday, 17th December 2016, 9:41 am
The hamper Lydia has arranged is packed with goodies as well as practical items
The hamper Lydia has arranged is packed with goodies as well as practical items

Lydia Bunn, 23, of Bexhill, always drives past the same man on the way to visit her partner, Chris, in Seaside, and said she wanted to do something nice for him.

She said, “I felt so bad, I don’t like seeing him there.

“I thought I wanted to see what I could do, so I had a look on Facebook and found a group called Warming Up the Homeless.

“It’s a group of volunteers who go out and take food to homeless people.

“I wanted to be anonymous, so they agreed they would take it to him for me.”

Lydia has filled the hamper with a Christmas card, Christmas cake for one, cheese biscuits, cereal bars, tinned beans and meatballs, fruit pots and pots of jelly, juice cartons, crisps, raisins, hat, scarf, a thermal mug, tissues and more.

She says her mother bought her some bits to put in, as well as a good friend who is a work colleague.

Lydia, a full time administration assistant who is also working on a primary school teaching course at the Open University, said, “I just want to encourage people to volunteer for such a fantastic charity.

“I don’t even want any recognition for what I’ve done!

“The work the volunteers do is amazing and there are people volunteering week in, week out, and giving such generous donations – anything from food, coats, and gloves.

“The administrators of Warming Up the Homeless are a credit and none of this could be done without them.

She continued, “I think [homelessness] is in the back of people’s minds, and they don’t know how to go about helping.

“It’s really nice being able to tell people how. But it’s not about me.”

Warming Up the Homeless is a local group of volunteers that supply essentials like sleeping bags, warm clothing, toiletries and food to those sleeping rough to ensure they are warm and dry.

Shelley Weaver, volunteer leader at Warming Up the Homeless, said, “I am a leader of the Thursday group which has only been running a few months. It has ended up being such a great night.

“I have about 12 volunteers and we are able to split up into two groups to get more ground covered.

“We did a gig at the Rafa Club last month to raise awareness of the work we do and to raise funds for food and items we need. We made more than £600.

“My dad is also a big support as he takes me to pick up donations from people who are unable to drop them off themselves.

“The public can help in so many different ways – by becoming a volunteer, giving donations, picking up donations, helping with events, or cleaning items we get that have not been washed.”

To find out more, visit www.warmingupthehomeless.co.uk