Food and clothing needed to help Norfolk homeless

A Norfolk homeless charity is taking in extra people and distributing food and clothes as the freezing weather conditions continue.

The St Martin's Housing Trust, which operates in Norwich and across the county is appealing for donations of substantial clothes and food to help people both living on the streets and in houses without heating.

Last week students at Sprowston Community High School handed over 98 pairs of new men's socks for the homeless of Norwich which they donated to the St Martin's housing trust.

It was part of their Christmas charity fundraising effort.

The trust's operations manager John Hales, who collected the socks, said: 'It's absolutely fantastic. It makes young people think to some degree. I was very impressed with them.

'Sometimes we get stuff that is not particularly appealing.

'We do not have many elderly people, but we have many many people in their late 20s so it is ensuring they get the right sort of things.'

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He said the charity, which offers emergency direct access to accommodation, residential care and support for single homeless people, had been hard at work distributing clothes and had taken in at least six extra people each night.

'We are trying to support everybody as much as we can in the weather. At the moment we are taking in six extra people each night.

'We are trying to ensure that nobody is left on the street.

'We need socks, hats, scarves, gloves and things like chewy cereal bars. We cannot accommodate them throughout the day. If they have nothing to do but to walk around they need nutritional food.'

He said they particularly needed good quality shoes as well as hats, scarves and gloves.

'People need to keep their extremities warm', he said.

'It is very difficult in these conditions to have enough stuff.

'This is exceptional weather.

'There are people who are not in particularly secure accommodation who do not have enough heating.'

He said that they had a good response at Christmas from schools and church groups but that they needed more help with donations to ensure they were able to continue their work if the cold snap goes on into the new year.

You can drop off donations at St Martins Housing Trust, 35 Bishopgate, Norwich, NR1 4AA or for more information call 01603 667706.