Kind people have been tying items of warm clothing to lamp posts and railings in Swansea city centre to help the homeless.
Winter has fully arrived now, bringing with it terrible weather, and so good-natured locals in the Welsh city decided that something had to be done to help those on the streets.
Inspired by similar schemes elsewhere, 46-year-old Vicki Jones, who runs The Community Cwtch charity shop in Gowerton, and volunteer Kirsty Hanson tied various items of clothing including scarves, jumpers and coats to railings and lamp posts across the city centre in the hope others will follow suit.
Each item was accompanied by a sign which read:
If you need me take me! Please don’t steal me! From The Community Cwtch (charity shop) in Gowerton in aid of The Autism Directory.
To make sure as many homeless people as possible had a chance of finding the cosy clothes, Vicky and Kirsty placed the items in 14 different spots across the city hoping that those most in need would benefit from the kind gesture.
Photos of the clothing have been shared hundreds of times across social media within just hours.
The majority of shelters accept donations of warm clothes and other necessities but they can’t guarantee they will find their way to those who require them most.
Vicky and Kirsty felt that by leaving them directly on the street, they will be found by those not be able to go to a shelter or afford to go into a charity shop.
Vicky told Wales Online:
We had a lot of clothing which we probably couldn’t sell but which would be too hard to recycle.
We were ringing around to see if we could drop some bags off but we couldn’t.
It was someone else’s idea which I saw on Facebook, so we collected a few items and went around the city centre.
The shop is called The Community Cwtch and I see it as way to show our interest in community investment as a hub for all.
Vicky didn’t expect the idea to receive such a positive reaction from the public and was overwhelmed when it did.
We felt very naughty doing it. But we were quite proud of ourselves.
We were expecting a lot of criticism but you can’t really criticise what we were trying to do.
Although Vicky wants others to follow her example, she added that anyone who wants to help homeless people should give their items of clothing to professional charity workers to distribute.
I think I would encourage them to take the clothes to a charity shop so the shop can make that decision rather than everyone jumping on that bandwagon.
It is just one small thing that we can all get involved with to help.
Hopefully others will be inspired by this wonderful act of kindness.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.