Criminology students at South Tyneside College have proved they are clued up on how to help the homeless this Christmas – by launching a support appeal.
They are asking the public to donate food and non-perishable items for Christian faith-based charity Hospitality and Hope.
Founded in 2002, Hospitality and Hope runs South Tyneside food and clothing bank and open access soup kitchens for the over 18s.
Twenty-six students are taking part in the initiative – and aim to collect hundreds of long-lasting food items and other goods.
These can include dried pasta, tins, cereals, nappies, baby wipes, and toiletries such as toothpaste.
Items are being collected in a trolley in the foyer of the college’s Westoe campus in St George’s Avenue, South Shields, until the evening of Tuesday, December 6.
After that date, they can be dropped in directly to appeal organiser and criminology lecturer Susan Johnson.
The students will also visit the charity’s headquarters in Hampden Street, South Shields, to pack the goods into hampers in preparation for being handed out.
Susan said: “This is the third successive Christmas that we have organised a collection, and it’s always been very well supported by students and the public.
“Last year we collected enough items to fill forty bags, and that is the target we are again aiming for.
“Hospitality and Hope’s work is very important to supporting people in South Tyneside who don’t have a place to live.
“For the last two years the public have responded very well to our appeal, and I’m confident that will be the case again this year.
Maureen Gribben, volunteer coordinator at Hospitality and Hope, said: “To help in this way is a fantastic gesture by the college’s students.
“The help they are providing to people who need a little extra support at this time of year, is very much appreciated.
“They are doing a great job, and we are very grateful for their help.”
Clothing cannot be accepted but can instead be donated directly to the charity.
Items can be delivered during college opening hours of 8am to 8pm, Monday to Thursday, and 8am to 4.30pm on Friday.