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Engineer’s Christmas collection for Kent’s homeless

An engineer at UK Power Networks organised office collections for people who are homeless in Medway, with nowhere to go this Christmas.

From Press releases - 7 December 2018 12:00 AM

Engineer's Christmas collection for Kent's homeless.jpg

Julian Tidd, from Halling, collected 25 bags of donations for Medway Street Angels, a local charity providing practical help for people who are homeless including hot food, shelter and advice to help get people off the streets and into accommodation and work.

The planning engineer set up collection points in the company’s offices at Maidstone, Crawley and London and was inundated with bags stuffed with essentials such as sleeping bags, tents, socks, thermals, toiletries and dog food. Colleagues also donated gifts through the charity’s Amazon wish list, including tents, sleeping bags, roll mats and socks.

He said: “I have been very touched by the kindness and generosity of my colleagues. There are a lot of caring people here. I have also had some wonderful conversations with people who have thought an awful lot, about homelessness and what can be done about it.”

Julian recently started volunteering as a collections driver for Medway Street Angels, picking up donations from residents in his local area. Together with his wife, Fiona, he will also be volunteering at the charity’s Christmas dinner at Chatham Bus Station on December 20.

Julian said: “I feel a mixture of emotions about volunteering. I’m happy to do it but feel so sad about the terrible situation of the people we are trying to help. Collecting a few bits and pieces doesn’t fix their problems, but the charity is making a real difference to people’s lives. In three years Medway Street Angels has got three people into work. They put people in touch with organisations that help to get them off the street and into temporary accommodation.

“We spend so much at Christmas on food and presents that people don’t need when there are people who have so little. My family has been buying sleeping bags for the charity as Christmas presents for me this year, which means a great deal to me. I don’t need or want anything, but there are people living below the poverty line who need the basics of food and shelter.”

Amber Gilbert, founder of Medway Street Angels, said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to Julian and his team at UK Power Networks for their support. It is sad that in this century there is such a need for services like ours. Homelessness has increased dramatically, heading into the hardest season of the year we are very appreciative for the support.”

To find out more about Medway Street Angels visit the charity’s Facebook page.