A Pontypool youngster is providing supplies to homeless people living on the streets of Torfaen and Cardiff to help them through the coming winter months.
Lucy-Marie Phillips, ten, has previously collected essential items through her church, but with them not meeting due to coronavirus restrictions, she is leading her own collection, calling on support of local organisations.
Wanting to make sure vulnerable people have access to supplies ahead of winter, she put out a plea to local shops and companies to donate essential items. She was thrilled when her dad’s employer, gas network Wales & West Utilities, kickstarted her campaign with 20 ‘Keep Warm’ packs.
Thermos flasks and hot water bottles
The packs, each containing a thermos flask, hot water bottle, blanket, socks, hat and gloves, will now be donated by Lucy-Marie to Giving Hope Torfaen, which will distribute them to the homeless in Torfaen.
Lucy-Marie explains her motivations: “We usually get a lot of donations through the church, but I was worried that due to coronavirus we wouldn’t be able to provide help this year. That’s when I decided to do something myself.
“I want to make sure that as many people as possible are helped to keep warm during the winter and I am really happy that Wales & West Utilities have provided these packs which will now help twenty people who are living on the streets.”
The ‘Keep Warm’ packs from gas emergency and pipeline service, Wales & West Utilities, are usually given to vulnerable customers whose gas supplies are affected for a short period of time.
Lucy-Marie’s father, Paul Phillips, works as a customer support officer for Wales & West Utilities and said: “I am so proud of Lucy-Marie for coming up with this campaign which will provide this extra support to those people most in need. It’s wonderful that she’s had the support of my employer and the donation of the Keep Warm packs will go a long way to helping people living on the streets stay warm this winter.”
Steve Manning, from Giving Hope Torfaen, added: “The donation from Lucy-Marie will go such a long way for helping some of the most vulnerable people in our community and I know just how much the Keep Warm packs will mean to them.
“So far this year we have supported over 20 street homeless in Torfaen, whilst we also support up to 40 people in Cardiff each month.
“On behalf of us all at Giving Hope Torfaen, but more so the street homeless we deal with, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Lucy-Marie for showing the care and compassion for starting the collection.”