To mark World Homeless Day (10th October), we have launched our annual Winter Rucksack Appeal, in partnership with HACRO, aimed at supporting Hertfordshire rough sleepers this winter.

Emmaus Hertfordshire and HACRO have joined forces to appeal for donations of essential winter items to distribute to rough sleepers who will soon be facing plummeting sub-zero temperatures.

We’re encouraging school groups, businesses, families, groups, and individuals to get involved by collecting items for people facing extreme weather conditions, including packet biscuits, soup, meals/pasta, thermal clothing, hats, scarves, gloves, socks, rucksacks, sleeping bags, and blankets.

Harpenden Hygiene Bank has already kindly offered to provide toiletries for the appeal.

Items being collected for the appeal are:

  • Rucksacks
  • Sleeping Bags
  • Blankets
  • Socks
  • Gloves
  • Scarves
  • Hats
  • Fleeces/Jumpers
  • Wash Bags
  • Flannels
  • Safety Razors
  • Combs
  • Pocket mirrors
  • Packet biscuits
  • Packet soups
  • Packet meals/pasta
  • Lighters

Items and backpacks can be dropped off at Emmaus Hertfordshire shops in Boxmoor, St Albans, and Tring during opening hours. Donated items must be clean, in-date and in full working order and should be clearly labelled “Rucksack Appeal”.

Alternatively, items can be purchased and sent directly to Emmaus Hertfordshire via the Winter Rucksack Appeal Amazon wishlist here.

The rucksacks filled with supplies will be distributed by companions at Emmaus Hertfordshire and the former offenders now supported by HACRO.

Duncan Lewis, Chief Executive at Emmaus Hertfordshire, said:

“Many of the people who now live and work at Emmaus Hertfordshire have slept rough throughout the winter months and know just how hard it can be. A very simple gesture like a rucksack full of essentials will make things slightly easier for people experiencing homelessness this winter.

“It’s really easy to get involved with our rucksack project. Simply drop off the much-needed items to one of our shops, and we will do the rest. We’re equally grateful to people who donate a full rucksack, one or two of the suggested items, or an empty backpack – every donation makes a difference.”