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“Homelessness is horrible and distresses me no end”

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10 days, 15 hours agoNo Comments.
25 NOV

“Homelessness is horrible and distresses me no end”

By timesecholife on in All News, Featured News

A Moorlands resident is asking for donations for a homeless appeal that is running this winter. Helping those who are without residence is something that had always been close to Anne Rogers’ heart and this year, among many other activities, she is helping the charity Saltbox with its gift bag initiative.

A Moorlands resident is asking for donations for a homeless appeal that is running this winter.

Helping those who are without residence is something that had always been close to Anne Rogers’ heart and this year, among many other activities, she is helping the charity Saltbox with its gift bag initiative.

The Hanley-based Christian charity is asking for people to fill up bags with clothes such as hats, gloves, socks, toothbrushes, face wipes, perfume, hand warmers, hot chocolate and thermal mugs amongst other items. These will then be given to the homeless this festive season.

Anne has had experience of homelessness through her son Ben – the youngest of her four children – who sadly passed away 15 years ago aged 34.

A rough sleeper, he made videos documenting his heroin addiction before his death which ended up being made into a film by Sky that won several awards and allowed Anne to travel to various countries for drug addiction conferences, such as China and Beirut.

Anne, who lives in Alton, has lent a hand to winter appeals over a number of years.

“I’ve been doing stuff for the homeless for a long time,” she explained to the Times & Echo.

“Last year, I did an appeal called Heart For the Homeless for Stoke-on-Trent Churches Community Nightshelter in Hanley and I ended up with more than 70 bags of food that I was able to take to the night shelter which was amazing.

“This year I spotted that Saltbox are asking people to fill gift bags with the things they put on the list.

“People can also donate items for them to put into bags.”

Anne relayed her passion for helping the homeless and gave some alarming statistics regarding rough sleepers in the area.

She added: “I went to an information session and they put out some horrific figures.

“Apparently twice as many people are likely to die on the streets of Stoke than in the rest of England and the city has the third highest numbers of rough sleeper deaths in the West Midlands.

“Between the years 2013 to 2018, 26 souls perished sleeping rough in the Staffordshire Moorlands.”

Anne continued: “People on the streets don’t do it out of choice.

“The homeless aren’t just people on the streets though, some may sofa surf for a few nights before they have to look elsewhere again – people who aren’t on the register.

“It’s a real, growing problem that is getting worse. I wouldn’t have thought 25 years ago, I would still be looking at this horrific problem of people getting ill or dying on the streets.

“It’s horrible and distresses me no end. I feel very emotional about things.

“I go back to the loss of my son (as my inspiration for helping the homeless).”

Anne touched on the fact that many rough sleepers are of a younger adult age who have been forced out onto the streets due to no fault of their own.

December weather-wise marks the start of the coldest period of the year so it is asked that those who would like to donate, do so before the end of November.

To do this, Anne can be contacted on 01538 702185 and says she is happy to pick up donations.

Alternatively, pop into the Times & Echo offices at 18 Tape Street in Cheadle between 9am to 11am on Monday and Tuesday to drop off any items ahead of collection.

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