A kind-hearted Clitheroe father-of-two accompanied by 20 plus volunteers spent their Friday evening handing out donations to some of the county’s homeless.
Chris Hayton, who works as a chef at Stonyhurst College, travelled to Blackpool with a band of like-minded people who had responded to his Facebook message appealing for donations.
Keen snooker player Chris wanted to do something to help after speaking to homeless people in the seaside resort. He subsequently appealed on Facebook for clothing as well as outdoor gear such as sleeping bags and tents, which he then distributed on Friday evening.
Amazed by the local community’s generosity, people even ordered sleeping bags to be delivered directly to Chris’s house.
A collection point for items was also set up at Low Moor Club, and Chris made soup in his kitchen at home to hand out. He also received donations of ready-made pre-packed dinners and sandwiches from Birchall Foodservice at Hapton, two boxes of pre-packed lunches from Tayah’s Cafe at Longridge and 200 bananas were donated by his local fruit and veg supplier.
Chris, who is father to five-year-old Alfie Dean and Esmai (nine months), said the initiative had been a huge success.
“It went amazing,” said Chris. “It was heart wrenching at times, but we did our job.”
He went on to recall the story of a young homeless girl, who he plans to keep in touch with and help.
“She told us how she asks people for the time just to hear someone’s voice,” said Chris. “She asked 57 times on Friday morning before someone even looked at her.”
Chris, who is hoping to organise a similar event in early December, said that himself and his volunteers had dispatched a total of 150 sandwiches and pre-packed meals as well as around 170 hot drinks. Almost a transit van full of clothes was also handed out.