Bus driver inspires 'Clothes for Christmas' homeless appeal
AN APPEAL for clothing to help the homeless through the winter months has been launched, inspired by a kind Belfast bus driver.
The Clothes for Christmas Appeal was inspired by Paul Doyle, who stopped his bus to give a winter coat to a man he had watched standing in the pouring rain in November.
The Metro driver also put a £5 note, milk and bread in the bag with the coat for the homeless man.
Mr Doyle’s employers Translink along with Hastings Hotels and U105 have joined forces with the Council for the Homeless NI and SOS Bus NI to encourage people to donate clothes to vulnerable people during the coldest time of the year.
Translink General Manager Ciaran Doherty said Mr Doyle’s act of kindness “helped to shine a spotlight on the serious issue of homelessness”.
“We are encouraging our customers travelling by bus and train over the festive season to support the Clothes for Christmas Appeal - even a small donation can make a big difference!”
Joanne Harvey from Hastings Hotels said everyone has a responsibility to help those less fortunate.
“It is very sad to know that Northern Ireland currently has almost 20,000 homeless households and it really brings home how unfortunate some people are,” she said.
The items requested are:
- Winter coats
- Warm hoodies and jumpers
- Jeans (32-34 waist)
- Shoes – trainers and boots (mens’ sizes 8-11)
- New underwear for men and women
- Toiletries including toothbrushes, shower gel, ladies sanitary products and hairbrushes
In Belfast, donations can also be made at the Europa Hotel and the Stormont Hotel, as well as Belfast Central Station and Laganside Buscentre.
Items can also be dropped off at hotels and Translink stations across the north.
- Derry city - Everglades Hotel and Foyle Street Bus Station
- Co Antrim: Ballygally Castle, Antrim Bus and Rail Centre, Ballymena Bus Station and Carrickfergus Train Station
- Co Down: Culloden Estate and& Spa, Bangor Bus and Rail Centre, Downpatrick Buscentre, Slieve Donard Resort and Spa, Lisburn Train Station and Newtownards Bus Station