A YOUNG University of Winchester graduate is packing street survival kits to help the city’s homeless.
Luke Addison is appealing for donations for the Rotaract Backpacks scheme, which equips rough sleepers with everything they need to survive on the streets.
His team at the Winchester Rotaract Club are stuffing camping bags with 17 essentials, including bedding, warm clothes and first aid kits.
The bags and their contents were designed with the help of rough sleepers and people from youth charity Fixers to ensure that the vulnerable get exactly what they need.
They also include maps, toiletries and information packs signposting the homeless to local charities and outreach programmes.
The group shot a short film called Hidden Winchester to accompany the project. The film tells intimate stories of the city’s homeless and will debut later this month.
Luke, 21, said: “By providing homeless people with the necessary resources in order to survive sleeping rough, we hope this will act as the first stage in allowing them to gradually rebuild their lives.
“The sad truth is that homelessness can hit anyone and many people are just three steps away from it.
“If everyone just ignores the situation it won’t go away and they won’t be able to help themselves if everyone gives up on them.
“We really need support and ask people to give generously.
The Winchester Rotaract Club is the youth wing of the city’s Rotary Club and Luke and his team are working with Winchester homeless organisations including the Trinity day centre at Durngate.
Trinity Winchester general manager Sue McKenna said: “These bags are really well thought out, and full of incredibly useful items for people who have found themselves sleeping rough.
“It’s great to know that our younger generation are aware of the plight of others who are less fortunate than themselves. We would like to thank Luke and the team from Rotaract for all their hard work putting them together.”
Donations can be made through Facebook, Twitter and at winchesterrotaract.co.uk.