Homeless helpers in Sheffield overwhelmed by donations for pre-Christmas appeal

Homeless helpers in Sheffield say they have been overwhelmed by the number of donations received as part of a pre-Christmas appeal.

Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 3:36 pm

Sheffield businesses and members of the public donated 30 shopping trolleys full of food and other essential items to Help Us Help in just one week.

The donations were dropped off at Help Us Help’s dedicated cabin near the Peace Gardens last month, as well as at 19 collection points across the city.

However, organiser Tracy Ford said that as much as collecting donations, the appeal was about raising the profile of the charities who work with homeless people in Sheffield.

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Charity Volunters with some of the Help us Help donations that have been received this year. Picture Scott Merrylees

She said: “We’ve been doing it three years now and this has been by far the biggest they had ever had. We had enough condiments delivered to keep Broomhall Breakfast Club going for a year!

“But the whole point of Help us Help is to raise awareness of the services that exist in Sheffield, promoting the fact that there is support available for people.

“Anyone can put a poster on the wall but this is about trying to explain to people you can help in a different way.

“There are loads of positive stories which prove that people can get off the streets with the right support.”

Sheffield council's Tracey Ford and Anabel Araujo with some of the Help us Help donations that have been received this year. Picture Scott Merrylees

The mountain of donations will go to help charities including the Cathedral Archer Project, Ben’s Centre, Roundabout and many others.

Businesses which donated included McDonald’s, Waitrose and both universities, but by far the biggest amount was donated by ordinary Sheffielders themselves, Tracy said.

She added: “I just want to thank everyone for their continued support. All the donations mean the charities can get on with delivering their services.”

Help Us Help brings together Sheffield Council, homelessness charities, city centre residents’ group Changing Sheff and other services under one umbrella.

They encourage people to consider donating to homelessness charities rather than giving directly to people on the streets, which experts say can often make the problem worse.

The Help Us Help website - which contains information on all the services which will benefit from the appeal - can be found at www.helpushelp.uk.