Appeal to help rough sleepers in Hertfordshire

Items for an Emmaus rucksack
Items for an Emmaus rucksack

Homelessness charity Emmaus Hertfordshire has launched its annual rucksack appeal to help rough sleepers during the coldest months of the year.

The charity is asking local people to get involved by donating essential winter items.

Plummeting temperatures bring increased risk of health issues to rough sleepers.

According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, at least 78 homeless people died on the streets or in temporary accommodation in the UK last winter, with many being found dead in doorways, crowded shelters or tents in freezing conditions.

Emmaus Hertfordshire is keen to encourage school groups, businesses, families, groups and individuals to get involved by collecting essential items for men and women facing extreme weather conditions, including:

Toiletries: toothpaste, tooth brush, soap, shower gel, shampoo, flannel, deodorant, shaving foam, razor, comb, pocket mirror.

Food: plain biscuits, lighters, packet soups, sweets, packet meals/pasta pouches.

Clothing: hats, gloves, scarves, thermal fleeces/jumpers, socks.

Other: rucksacks, sleeping bags, blankets.

Emmaus Hertfordshire supports 39 people who have experienced homelessness and social exclusion.

When someone joins its St Albans-based community they are offered a home for as long as needed, plus the opportunity to gain work experience in its six charity shops across Hertfordshire and Barnet.

Items and backpacks can be dropped off at any Emmaus shop, including those in Hemel Hempstead, Tring and St Albans, during opening hours.

To find out more about Emmaus Hertfordshire, visit