Costessey mother’s call for donations to help the homeless this Christmas

Hollie Ikins, who is collecting donations for homeless people in Norwich. Picture: GH PHOTOGRAPHY

Hollie Ikins, who is collecting donations for homeless people in Norwich. Picture: GH PHOTOGRAPHY - Credit: GH PHOTOGRAPHY

Christmas is normally a tough time for the homeless.

But a mother-of-one from Old Costessey is trying to help people in need across Norwich this festive season.

Clothing entrepreneur Hollie Ikins, 28, from Townhouse Road, is collecting food and non-food items to be put into special parcels.

These will be given out to the city's homeless population on Christmas Eve by Mrs Ikins and her friends.

They will be joined by a member of staff from Norwich's Stringfellas Barber Shop who will give free haircuts to any homeless person who wants one.

Mrs Ikins, who has a 22-month-old daughter called Poppy, was inspired to help the homeless after raising just over £1,500 for the Brain Tumour Research charity as part of her Miss Norfolk 2017 pageant entry.

She won the Miss Charitable Efforts Norfolk 2017 prize as well as Queen Miss United Kingdom 2017 at a national pageant in Cannock, later on.

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Mrs Ikins will compete against 30 other people for the international Miss European Continental prize in Naples, Italy, which features a charity aspect, from November 22-26.

She said: 'I want to make people feel a little bit special. I wanted to give out the donations myself and go out and meet people.

'I thought it would be a brilliant thing to do.

'I wanted to find a way to help people and if people donate items it doesn't mean they have to put their hands in their pockets.

'I'm really excited about giving out the items. It is going to be an experience.'

Items which would be appreciated include hot and cold drinks, soup, stew, sandwiches, Pot Noodles, chocolate, crisps, books, toiletries, dog food, dog bowls and blankets, sleeping bags, bedding, shoes and clothes, scarves and gloves, hand warmers, socks and jumpers.

But Mrs Ikins, who has a boutique children's clothes business, added: 'Nothing is too small or big for us.'

Donations can be dropped off across Norwich at S & S Motors on Dereham Road, Holt Road Garage, Oak Street Cars, Rises Tattoo Studio Borrowdale Drive, The Makeup Company on Bush Road, TPF - Parkour on Aylsham Way and the Boundary pub on Aylsham Road.

Any leftover items will be donated to people affected by Universal Credit payment delays.