Limavady family reach out to help the homeless

Alan, Margaret, Kerri and Andy Chapman with some of the boxes of donated items. (DERR0512SJ20)
Alan, Margaret, Kerri and Andy Chapman with some of the boxes of donated items. (DERR0512SJ20)

A Limavady family are reaching out to help homeless people in Derry.

Andy Chapman and his parents, Alan and Margaret and sister Kerri are running a Christmas shoe box appeal for homeless people in the city.

“The volunteer group ‘Help The Homeless Derry/Londonderry’ are coordinating the drive, which has more than 10 separate projects relating to Christmas. We tied in with them on social media and agreed to promote the project here in Limavady,” explained Andy, who said the way to help is simple.

“All they need to do is wrap an empty shoe box with Christmas paper (so that it can still be opened) and fill it with items including shampoo, toothbrushes, socks (all must be new),” he said, pointing out personal hygiene items donated must be suitable for men and women. People can also donate items for children.

“We ran a similar project last year, inviting people to donate items to help the homeless. My employers at Limavady Borough Council were kind enough to let me use the office as a drop-off point. We were completely overwhelmed by the response and we ended up taking three carloads of stuff to Foyle Haven and a further car load to the Simon Community in Coleraine,” said Andy.

“We decided it would only be right to do something again this year. I found the Help The Homeless group on Facebook and made contact with them. They had all the hard work done. All we needed to do was promote the idea here in Limavady and set up drop off points. We have on at Limavady Borough Council office between 9am and 4pm on Friday 12th December and one a Fighting Fit Bootcamp, Dungiven between 6.30pm and 8pm on the same day. My friends at Crossfit Derry have also agreed to use their facility as a drop off point for people living in the city.”

“It’s a token thought, a small amount of time and money, but it makes a massive difference to a homeless person on Christmas Day,” said Andy, who added Billy Hutchison from Derry Powerlifting Club are setting up a donation box at one of their competitions tomorrow.

“Billy will be giving us all monies lifted on the day, which will be used to purchase items for shoe boxes. Thanks Billy,” added Andy.