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Winter warmers

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100 ‘Bags of Happiness’ were handed out to Bradford’s homeless and disadvantaged population last week as the first of many distributions were held in the city centre.

On Wednesday 18th December, tens of winter warmer kits were issued outside Bradford City Hall in Centenary Square, in a joint operation by local organisations, the Faith Centre and Remploy.

As the cold nights draw in, there are many people across the county who do not have the luxury of warmth this winter and as such struggle to survive in the harsh conditions.

SUPPORT: Remploy employment advisor, Abdul Quddus, hands over a sleeping bag to 62-year-old Roger Copley

SUPPORT: Remploy employment advisor, Abdul Quddus, hands over a sleeping bag to 62-year-old Roger Copley

The winter packs are an essential lifeline for those who need it and were delivered in hope of providing that extra bit of support when needed most.

The Bradford Faith Centre, a new initiative from the international charity, Mercy Mission, provided the essential winter kits after fundraising efforts had allowed the charity to purchase the supplies.

Azim Kidwai, Chief Marketing Officer at Mercy Mission, explained how last week’s event was just the first of many to be held across the city as the temperatures drop.

“Wednesday’s event was a great start to the initiative,” he said. “As the weather gets colder throughout the winter period it is crucial that these supplies are available to Bradford’s homeless population.

“Throughout winter we will continue to visit different shelters across the city to provide more essentials and help ensure that nobody is left out in the cold.”

TEAM: (l-r) Brendon O’Doherty, of Remploy; Azim Kidwai, of Mercy Mission; Abdul Quddus, of Remploy; Osman Gondal, from Intouch foundation; and Roger Copley, receiver of a winter essential kit

TEAM: (l-r) Brendon O’Doherty, of Remploy; Azim Kidwai, of Mercy Mission; Abdul Quddus, of Remploy; Osman Gondal, from Intouch foundation; and Roger Copley, receiver of a winter essential kit

The ‘Bags of Happiness’ included things such as sleeping bags and warm clothing accessories, such as gloves and hats.

Remploy, the UK’s leading provider of specialist employment services for people with disabilities and health conditions, supported the initiative by helping co-ordinate the day.

Abdul Quddus, Employment advisor at Remploy, was delighted with the launch event and explained how the initiative came about.

He said: “It is something both parties (Remploy and the Faith Centre) really wanted to do in a way to help the community.

“Some people are in the unfortunate position whereby they don’t have any other option but to sleep on the street so the least we could do is try and make their experience a bit more comfortable.

“Whilst we understand that we cannot solve the issues for these people, we would at least like to make life a little easier and warmer for them.”

He added: “It is an inclusive project which doesn’t focus on a particular faith, religion or race, rather just on helping out some fellow Bradfordians who face some difficult times during the cold nights.”

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