Group spends Christmas Eve helping the homeless in Rotherham town centre

A GROUP of volunteers aims to help those spending Christmas on the streets by handing out food and warm clothes.

Kris McClean (35), of Kiveton Park, said the group – which includes around ten people – would camp in the town centre, around the market and the bus stop, and help homeless people and those in need on Christmas Eve.

Kris, a former pub landlord and an experienced volunteer, said: “We’re going out on Christmas Eve. 

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The group has been collecting donations for the last couple of weeks – blankets, minced pie, coats, jumpers etc – and we’ll be going out around quarter to seven, seven o’clock (in the evening) in the town centre. 

“We’re aiming to be around near the market and the bus station.

“We’re going to be bringing out chairs and tables, getting all we’ve collected on the top and going out trying to find some people, as well – just to keep everyone warm, to show some Christmas spirit.

“It’s going to take some of us to stand up and actually do something.”

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Kris said Alexander Stafford, the Rother Valley MP, was involved in spreading the word and local businesses have contributed as well.

He added: “There’s a business in Dinnington, in Killamarsh, in Kiveton Park and in Thurcroft all have been collecting for a great cause.”

He said anything that wouldn’t be taken on Christmas Eve would be stored for next time as they were “looking at the bigger picture”.

Anyone who approaches Kris and the group would be offered help – the volunteers would also bring some children with them to give them some perspective.

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He said: “We’re going to be offering help with paperwork – we’re going to show homeless people who don’t know how to get claims, how to get to the doctor.

“Ten volunteers will take their time on Christmas Eve to help the homeless people.

“A couple of them will bring children as well to show how other people do have to survive with homelessness – it gives them a bit of a perspective, a bit of a reality.”

If you need help or you know someone who may require food and warm clothing, you’ll find Kris and his friends around the market and the bus station at 7pm on Christmas Eve.