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It’s one of the simplest comforts we have – a place to call home. And yet hundreds of people across our area are struggling to find one.

From December 2016 to February 2017, we raised over £147,500 for homelessness charities in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire as part of our Community Champions scheme. We also donated £143,000 worth of food and groceries, plus boxes of toiletries and unwrapped Christmas presents.   

There are lots of different types of homelessness. Some people may be rough sleepers, others might be ‘sofa surfers’ who stay on a night-by-night basis with family and friends but don’t have a permanent address. Some people have secured temporary supported accommodation and are looking to move forward. 

What unites them all is the vulnerability of their situation. 

The charities we picked support people living in those circumstances. The groups also work to prevent homelessness and raise awareness of the issues around it. 

Here’s more about the activities that took place...

To launch the quarter, we made a one-off donation of £140,000 worth of groceries.

Products given away included 720 cans of baked beans, 1,080 packets of rice pudding, 900 tins of vegetable soup, 1,360 shower gels, 600 boxes of tissues and 1,200 bottles of washing up liquid. 

They were shared between the charities which have a Lincolnshire Co-op food store nearby. The goods were used by people in emergency and supported accommodation run by those groups.

Our pharmacy teams held free drop-in flu jab clinics for homeless people. These took place in Boston and Lincoln at accommodation run by charities Framework and The Nomad Trust. 

There are certain products that many of us think of as basic. But for someone struggling with housing, substance abuse or financial issues, they may be considered a luxury.

From December to February, our pharmacies hosted toiletry collection points. People were able to donate products such as toothpaste, deodorant, shaving gel, sanitary products and soap. We distributed them amongst the homelessness charities we supported.

We made a donation to those groups every time you shopped with us using your dividend card. 

We also ran staff fundraising events and gave the proceeds from the carrier bag levy to these groups during December, January and February. 

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