Friday 18 September 2015

Emmaus Bristol support Keep Bristol Warm initiative

Keep Bristol Warm

Emmaus Bristol is pleased to support the community initiative, Keep Bristol Warm (KBW), a campaign that demonstrates solidarity and community spirit to homeless people in Bristol this winter.

KBW is asking people to fill a rucksack with items that will help people experiencing street homelessness keep warm through the colder months.  Suggested items include warm clothing, a torch, ring pull soup, soap and shampoo.

On 6 December at 3pm, companions from Emmaus Bristol will attend The Bearpit, a marketplace and pedestrian zone in St James Barton and help distribute rucksacks to people currently living on the streets of Bristol.

Each rucksack will have a tag attached explaining how the bag has been donated and donors are asked to add notes of solidarity. Many people interested in the project have at some point faced homelessness themselves.

A coffee sharing concept, pending coffee, is also being launched in the city on the same day at a number of local coffee shops.  Customers can purchase two coffees and opt to leave one ‘pending’ which will then be given to a homeless person to help them keep warm through the cold period. This concept has been rolled out to include soup, tea, hot chocolate or any other hot drink that the customer wishes to buy.

Last winter was extremely cold and incredibly tough for people living on the streets.  Most of us dread waiting at a bus stop for 10 minutes, let alone a whole night exposed to the elements. Keep Bristol Warm is working to change the way people interact with those experiencing homelessness, by engaging and supporting the most vulnerable in society, instead of just walking on by. The simplicity of it means everyone can show up and give some love.

A Facebook group called Keep Bristol Warm has been created and has more than 352 members. More than 300 people have confirmed their attendance and intention to fill a rucksack.  One lady has even pledged to give up her afternoon to groom street dogs and give away dog food.  A barber will also be on hand to cut hair. This is a great example of the local community coming together for a worthwhile cause and Emmaus Bristol is proud to be a part of it.