While day-to-day life can be challenging for the homeless community at the best of times, the Coronavirus pandemic, in particular, has proven exceptionally hard – with many workers and organisations who the community would usually rely on finding themselves working from home and leaving the city centre’s dormant. But while we have found ourselves taking refuge in our own homes, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to help.
Using her free time to help those in need during this difficult time, Emma Robinson, from Belle Isle, decided to bring the genius Crisp Packet Project to Leeds, after discovering the project in Hastings.
The project, which now operates in locations such as Manchester, Cardiff and East Sussex, sees generous volunteers create essential blankets to help the homeless stay warm, using inexpensive crisp packets to provide make-shift thermal blankets.
The Leeds-based project is now operated by a number of volunteers, who all band together to clean, waterproof and iron together each crisp packet – not only helping to prevent the packets being sent to the landfill but providing essential warmth for hundreds of rough sleepers, too.
The team also experiment with other helpful items, too, creating mats from carrier bags to lay on, windproof tunnels, satchel-style bags and even blankets and beds for homeless dogs, too.
Working closely with Hidden Homeless, Emma regularly communicates with the homeless, who she has described as “appreciative” for the team’s efforts.
Each blanket takes 44 packets to make, with ‘bivvy bags’ (like sleeping bags) taking a whopping 150 packets. Due to the sheer number the Crisp Packet Project aims to create, donations are vital for the cause to keep up with demand.
Currently working through the summer to build up stockpiles for the winter, the team will be continuing their efforts outside of the pandemic, and those interested can donate to the cause here. Crisp packet donations are welcome, too, and you can get in touch or find out more via their Facebook page here.
[Featured image: CPP Leeds]