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Packing in advance

15 February 2013

THEY are already looking forward to next Christmas at Liverpool Cathedral as they urge people to start collecting the next large batch of backpacks for homeless people. The project "Stable" was started three years ago by Lucy (above) and Mark Hesford, after she had taken part in "Operation Christmas Child" at her father's church, St Mary's, Grassendale.

That project had provided backpacks for children, but she decided to do something similar for adults. By last Christmas, the response had grown large enough to provide 50 homeless people with backpacks of essential items to help them through the Christmas period. Requests went out not only for the actual bags, but for useful gifts such as clothing, non-perishable food, and toiletries.

The filled backpacks were distributed to homeless people in Liverpool through the charity Chapter One, a supported housing project for single men aged 18 to 49. "We were overwhelmed with the amount of donations we got this year," Mrs Hesford says. "We received somewhere between 40 and 50 backpacks. It took two cars to transport them all."

Her husband says that it is their ambition by next Christmas to extend the reach of Stable much further. "We think it's got the potential to go national; so we are working with Chapter One to see if we can co-ordinate an appeal to help their branches across the country."

 

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