A group of our formerly homeless companions are volunteering in Bedford, Northampton and Wellingborough town centres every week, offering help to those sleeping rough.

The self-titled ‘Rucksack Stomp’ team arrives each week carrying large rucksacks filled with food and useful supplies to hand out. They visit Northampton on Wednesday evenings and Wellingborough on Thursday evenings.

We are now calling on local people to help by donating to our special Appeal or by bringing us sleeping bags and warm clothing.

The group includes Bedford man Christian (pictured left) who was homeless for 16 months before we gave him a place to live and the support he needed. Christian is now heavily involved with organising the Rucksack Stomp:

“During each visit, we’re out for about five hours, walking round and talking to those sleeping in doorways or in more tucked-away places like cemeteries; people have started to recognise and trust us. In one night we can see up to 40 rough sleepers; a very sad situation.

“We hand out hot drinks and food as well as sleeping bags, tents and warm clothing.”

“We’re often meeting people at their lowest point, so we talk to them and find out what they need, and signpost other sources of support too. It’s very exhausting but very rewarding work. For me, it’s a way to pay forward the kindness shown to me. I know how it feels to be without a home; if we can help those who are sleeping rough, even a little bit, then it’s a job well done.”

Please help…

Anyone wishing to support the work of the Emmaus Village Carlton Rucksack Stomp can donate to our Appeal online, or drop off sleeping bags as well as warm clothing such as hats, gloves and scarves.

Donations of key essential supplies can also be purchased through our dedicated Rucksack Stomp Appeal Amazon Wishlist.

Supplies can be dropped off Wednesday – Saturday 9.30am – 4.30pm and Sunday 10am – 4pm at the Emmaus Village Carlton reception in the Dom Gregory building, School Lane, Carlton MK43 7LQ.