Weston mums set up reverse advent for town’s homeless

PUBLISHED: 16:00 11 November 2018

Steph Opogah and her children, Alexandra and Mikey, and Jill Bromley with some items in a box.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Steph Opogah and her children, Alexandra and Mikey, and Jill Bromley with some items in a box. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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Two Weston mothers are encouraging people to give something back and take part in a reverse advent calendar for the town’s most vulnerable.

Steph Opogah and her children, Alexandra and Mikey, and Jill Bromley with some items in a box.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTONSteph Opogah and her children, Alexandra and Mikey, and Jill Bromley with some items in a box. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Jill Bromley and Steph Opogah are calling on people to fill a box with goodies for the town’s rough sleepers and sofa surfers.

They first heard about the project elsewhere in the country and decided to bring it to Weston.

They started by encouraging their own children to get onboard before deciding to take the appeal one step further.

Jill said: “Before people get too carried away with their own Christmas shopping, we want them to spare a thought for those who may not get a present this year.

Steph Opogah and her children, Alexandra and Mikey, and Jill Bromley with some items in a box.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTONSteph Opogah and her children, Alexandra and Mikey, and Jill Bromley with some items in a box. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

“We are arranging distribution of the present boxes through Comfort At Christmas and the new night assessment centre.”

The aim of the project is to donate 24 items to a box or basket – in reverse to a chocolate or homemade advent calendar – and then these boxes can be passed to a homeless person in Weston.

Jill added: “I think these are basic needs and things which they may not be able to necessarily buy for themselves. We all walk past these people on the street and are often told not to give them money, instead, put something in a box once a day for 24 days.

“We just want to be able to bring a bit of joy to someone’s Christmas.”

Homelessness has been in the public eye a lot since a campaign for a winter shelter was launched in January. After months of fundraising and preparation, one is due to open this month.

The pair have set up a Facebook group called Weston Reverse Advent Calendar for people to share ideas and their progress in the lead up to the festive season.

Donations must be completed by December 15 and dropped off at the Costa Coffee in the Locking Castle District Centre, by Morrisons, between 10am and noon.

Products can include wet wipes, toothpaste, a toothbrush, hats, scarves, gloves, socks, hand lotion, underwear, chocolate and biscuits.

Food which requires cooking is not appropriate and a full list of ideas is available on Facebook.

For more information, join the Facebook group or contact Jill on 07984 096352.

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