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As Temperatures Plummet, Hand on Heart Launch Winter Warmer Pack Campaign

“Winter is the toughest time of year for those sleeping rough and we are thankful to our partners and donors for enabling us to serve vulnerable populations across the UK.”

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“Winter is the toughest time of year for those sleeping rough and we are thankful to our partners and donors for enabling us to serve vulnerable populations across the UK.”

As temperatures fall in the UK, Hand on Heart have launched their biggest single campaign to date: to distribute 1,300 winter warmer backpacks to the homeless and Afghan evacuees across the UK. 

To support the campaign launch, Hand on Heart were joined by local dignitaries: Peter Taylor (elected Mayor of Watford), Dean Russell (MP for Watford), Bilqees Mauthour (Watford borough council member and chairman), Dr. Sayed Ammar Nakshawani (Islamic scholar and author), and Rabi Martins and Asif Khan (Watford borough councillors). 

Image Credit: Hand on Heart

The backpacks, containing essential winter items, will be distributed throughout November at 17  locations, including central London, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Southend, and Watford. Hand on Heart have partnered with Beta Charitable Trust and 18 charities – including homeless shelters and food banks. 

Each winter warmer backpack contains hoodies, t-shirts, thermals (top and bottom) thermal socks (three pairs), winter gloves, a woolly hat, underwear (three pairs), deodorant, wet wipes, shower gel, toothbrush, toothpaste, face masks, hand sanitisers, and a hot water bottle with fleece cover. Sleeping bags and blankets will also be distributed at the outreach distributions.

Image Credit: Hand on Heart

During the weekend of the 6th and 7th November, 60 volunteer families collected the essential supplies to assemble the winter warmer packs. 

Hand on Heart’s co-founder Afzal Pradhan BEM said,

Though we see a light after the pandemic and life getting back to some normality, we are witnessing the aftermath and impact it has had on people’s livelihoods. Many jobs have been lost and financial pressures including rent arrears have pushed people over the brink into homelessness.”

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Pradhan continued: “However, it is not only job losses that are forcing people on the streets; relationship breakdowns, domestic abuse and mental or physical health problems have also put people under considerable strain during the pandemic.”

In addition to distributing winter warmer packs in general, Hand on Heart is also focusing on making sure recent evacuees from Afghanistan are being helped as well.

“The winter warmer backpacks will also be distributed to Afghanistan evacuees through our partnership with the Hertfordshire County Council and the British Red Cross,” Pradhan explained. “Winter is the toughest time of year for those sleeping rough and we are thankful to our partners and donors for enabling us to serve vulnerable populations across the UK.”

To learn more about their campaign, click here!

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