Members of the local community are rallying around a kind-hearted Clitheroe father-of-two who is on a mission to look after some of the county’s homeless this winter.
Scores of people have already got in touch with keen snooker player Chris Hayton after he posted a message on Facebook appealing for donations.
With the recent cold snap making the situation more urgent than ever, Chris, who works as a chef at Stonyhurst College, is collecting clothing including socks, gloves, underwear, hats, and footwear, plus outdoor gear such as sleeping bags and tents, which he then plans to distribute to homeless people in Blackpool later this week.
“There’s been so much interest on social media,” said Chris, who felt the need to help after speaking to homeless people in the seaside resort.
“The response from the local community has just been immense, I can’t believe it really.
“People have been incredibly generous, I’ve already got five tents and loads of sleeping bags, some of which people have ordered and just got delivered directly to my house!”
He added: “Every winter I see these unfortunate people who, a lot of the time, are in that situation through no fault of their own. They didn’t choose to be there, they have no friends, no family, and no one to help.
“One small act of kindness – fresh warm clothes plus a substantial meal – could really mean the difference of someone making it through the night and waking up in the morning!”
A collection point for items has been set up at Low Moor Club, and as well as distributing these donations to those in need, Chris also plans to hand out soup that he’s made from his kitchen at home.
He has also already received donations of ready-made pre-packed dinners and sandwiches from Birchall Foodservice at Hapton and 200 bananas have been donated by his local fruit and veg supplier.
Chris, who is father to five-year-old Alfie Dean and Esmai (nine months), will be supported by a team of 20 plus people who have all volunteered to help him distribute the items and food on Friday evening in Blackpool.
If the event is a success, Chris also hopes to hold similar initiatives in local cities such as Manchester.