WHILE many of us are relishing in the prospect of wrapping up warm in our toasty jackets and bobble hats, countless people won’t be able to afford a coat this winter. In fact, almost a quarter of under 16s in Leeds are living in poverty and an overwhelming 75 per cent of these live in working households, according to Zero Waste Leeds. Now in its second year, the Leeds Winter Coat Appeal aims to collect more than 2,000 good quality coats, hats, scarves, and paired gloves to handout to the needy.
Faresh Maisuria, Blueberry’s Managing Director, said his staff jumped at the chance to support such a worthy cause and help ensure no one goes cold this winter.
“We understand the strain families are under at the moment trying to cope with the cost-of-living crisis as energy bills and weekly food shops soar,” he said.
“That’s why it’s more important than ever to look out for one another. Our team has already started raiding their homes to dig out their pre-loved coats, hats, gloves and earmuffs. It may not seem like much but donating your second-hand winter warmers will make a huge difference to someone and could help keep a child warm this cold season.”
Run by Zero Waste Leeds - which aims to make Leeds a zero-waste city by 2030 - the scheme provided 500 free good quality coats to children and adults last winter. A figure they aspire to smash this year. Furthermore, the charity distributed more than 12,000 second hand school uniforms to 1,000 families last summer, saving them up to £200,000 to spend on other essentials.
Tracy Morgan, Leeds Winter Coat Appeal Project Coordinator, said numerous schools had contacted them to discuss their fears about pupils not having a warm coat this cold spell. She encouraged any charitable Leeds business or kind-hearted members of the public to support this year’s deserving appeal.
“Leeds is a generous city and people are willing to share what they have,” she said. “By redistributing winter coats across the city, we will help to ensure that fewer people in Leeds go without a coat this winter. We will also help to ensure that we reduce waste by encouraging people to share the coats they no longer use rather than throwing them away - it makes sense and is good for the environment.”
For more information on the scheme, which runs until November 14, 2022, follow @zerowasteleeds or head to zerowasteleeds.org.uk. The website contains a full list of donation points across Leeds and will be updated to include collection points early next month.