As the nights draw in and the temperatures drop, our thoughts go out to those who face spending their nights, and days, out on the streets. In 2022, an estimated 3069 people were sleeping rough on a single night in the UK, an increase of 26% on the previous year. Living on the streets is dangerous. It has seriously damaging effects to peoples health and mental wellbeing. Many of our companions say that irrespective of the events that led to them becoming homeless, sleeping rough was by far the most traumatic period of their lives.

We believe that everyone deserves a warm, safe place to sleep at night. We work, not only to support the formerly homeless companions that live in our community – we work towards an end to homelessness, for good. Until that day comes, we extend our solidarity to those who have to endure life on the streets.

This winter, we’re once again running our Rucksack Appeal and are asking you for donations of key items to distribute to rough sleepers across Hertfordshire who will soon be facing plummeting sub-zero temperatures. We’ll then prepare rucksacks filled with essential items to distribute to those in need, with help from our friends at HACRO.

How you can help

We’re encouraging school groups, businesses, families, groups, and individuals to get involved by collecting items for people facing extreme weather conditions – you could even prepare your own prepared backpacks, stocked with essentials.

We’d like to receive the following items;

  • Rucksacks
  • Sleeping Bags
  • Roll mats
  • Flasks
  • Hats
  • Gloves
  • Scarves
  • Wet wipes
  • Jumpers
  • Toiletries
  • Socks (new)
  • Underwear (new)
  • Hand Warmers
  • Sanitary products
  • Non-perishable foods
  • Coffee shop vouchers

Items and backpacks can be dropped off at any of our shops during opening hours. Please donate items that are clean, in-date and in full working order and label them “Rucksack Appeal”. Alternatively, items can be purchased and sent directly to Emmaus Hertfordshire via the Winter Rucksack Appeal Amazon wishlist here.

Follow along on our social channels to see our progress and find out where we distribute your donations!