Rucksack Challenge to help the homeless

Share Button

Rucksack Challenge poster. Pic © Lauries

A campaign has been launched aiming to help rough sleepers over winter and Christmas.

The Lauries Rucksack Challenge 2017, supported by Birkenhead BID and Wirral Chamber of Commerce, is looking for donations from the public and businesses.

The initiative has been going for several years, having started off on Facebook as a way for locals to donate not only rucksacks, but also clothing, sleeping bags, deodorant and food.

Organisers are aiming to improve it this year, hoping for essentials that will make a difference to those who are sleeping on the streets throughout winter.

Graham Maddrell, the marketing manager for Wirral Chamber of Commerce ,told JMU Journalism: “We’re already getting pledges of big donations. Last year we got a phenomenal amount of items from people. We were still getting things coming into New Year.”

The number of rough sleepers on the UK’s streets has increased 134% since 2010, according to recent figures. An estimated 4,134 people are thought to be sleeping rough at any night.

YouTube: Wirral Business Partnership (2015)

There has been a 42% increase in people sleeping on the streets in the North West and research also shows that those who are homeless are 17 times more likely to be a victim of violence.

YMCA Wirral is also a part of the campaign. They will be at their night shelter, which was first set up in 2008, to provide hot meals and a warm comforting place to stay over the Christmas period.

Mr Maddrell told JMU Journalism: “They can get around 15 to 16 people a night knocking on the door,, which is horrifying. You just can’t fathom it.”

Public donations can be made up until December 5th at three locations in Birkenhead: Pacific Road Business Hub in Pacific Road; The Lauries in Claughton Road; and Egerton House, Tower Road.

Donations can be made 2017.

About Emily Wall, JMU Journalism