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'Devastated' homeless helpers appeal for donations after break-in at storage unit

Peterborough Homeless Helpers appeal for donations after their storage unit was broken-into over Christmas break. 
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Peterborough Homeless Helper appeal for donations after storage unit was broken-into (Picture: Peterborough Homeless Helper)

Volunteers at the organisation have been helping homeless people and rough sleepers in the city for the last three years. This year has been a very busy one for the staff, who have helped feed the homeless people and support them in the lockdown alongside other charities and local authority. 

However, staff ended the year on a disappointing note, after their storage unit based in Werrington was broken-into and most of their items, collected for the people in need, worth hundreds of pounds were stolen. 

These included new clothing, socks and undergarments for men, new sleeping bags, new clothing items for women and food items. 

The volunteers say ‘these are all items that can be sold’. 

Speaking to Peterborough Matters, Fiona Winchester from Peterborough homeless helpers sad: “I was beyond devastated, was in tears. It made me very very sad because people who donate it trusted us. The shed was packed, you would struggle to get in and now it's practically empty. There were all items that can be sold because they were all new. Only a handful of food tins and soups that probably can’t be sold have bene left behind. 

“I don’t know when this happened but assuming it was over the Christmas break. I visited it just before and it was okay. It was only yesterday (December 30) that I found we had been broken into. 

“But I have to say, since putting up a message on Facebook, so many people have come forward as always to offer support. My phone has not stopped ringing. I am overwhelmed with the people’s kindness. 

“We need to replace all these items for our homeless and rough sleepers and would be grateful if people could help. We are also desperately in need of men’s jeans, size 30-32 please/ 

“The items except the jeans need to be new as all our hubs are closed and we can’t take used items at the moment.” 

Despite the setback, Fiona and her colleagues were out supporting the rough sleepers with hot meals on Thursday. Last week, they provided more than 160 hot meals. 

Fiona says Peterborough has amazing people who always come forward to support their causes. 

She added: “This year has been very busy for us. But it’s been amazing to see how kind and supportive people of Petebrorough have been. 

“At Christmas as well, local community and businesses have been so forthcoming and helped provide dozens of festive meals, presents and goodies. It’s just amazing.” 

As we move into the new year, Fiona hopes to support as any rough sleepers and homeless as possible alongside local charities and organisations. 

"Not one person should sleep rough’, that’s what we hope for and are working towards in 2021.", Fioan added.

You can support the Peterborough  Homeless Helper with their donation appeal here