Business and political leaders have urged people to back the Mission’s appeal to help raise £50,000 for homeless and hungry Huddersfield folk.

The project was officially launched by Mission boss Paul Bridges and the Mayor of Kirklees, Clr Christine Iredale.

Volunteers, business chiefs, Kirklees councillors and Mission staff got together to mark the beginning of their ambitious fundraising plan, which is being backed by the Examiner and Cummins Turbo Technologies – one of Huddersfield’s biggest firms.

Cummins director Steve Caddy said his company felt working with the Mission was a “win/win” for all.

He said: “The Mission performs a vital service for vulnerable people. We admire that the Mission tries to solve the underlying issues and not just fix the symptoms.

“Anybody can hand out a cup of tea but that doesn’t address the long term issues.

“What we really need is to show people how to get the help and advice they need to ensure they are capable of supporting themselves.”

He added: “I would urge any businesses here to get involved with this. Our staff really feel they make a difference. That feeling of doing something worthwhile spreads back into the whole workforce.

“That makes a healthier and happier environment for everyone – it’s a real win/win for everybody involved.”

Cummins employees have been raising funds with a Christmas jumper day, which will be match funded by the company. Some staff have also been involved in refurbishing the Mission’s cafe.

Farnley Tyas based graphic design firm Redbak Design has already got involved producing the posters and flyers needed for the campaign.

Boss Matthew Gledhill said: “We love the fact that these guys listen to any walk of life – they really do open the door to anyone.

“You’ve got people struggling with poverty, loneliness and mental health – it could be anybody.

“We find that so amazing. Everybody’s got a different story and these guys listen to any story, however difficult that may be.

“That’s such a powerful thing, especially at Christmas.

“Paul is such hero in all this, he’s so passionate about it and he seems to drive everybody to do good things.

“It’s fabulous to have this sort of a set up and that’s why we really want to get behind it.”

Huddersfield Mission needs £50,000 to help homeless and needy

Kirklees Clr Julie Stewart-Turner said she thought the plan was fantastic and had backed it has her charity when she was Mayor in 2009/10.

“Every time I see an article about homelessness it nearly has me in tears – it really hurts me,” she said.

“Every day there seems to be more people in desperate need. A lot of those are working but still struggling to make ends meet.

“It’s heart breaking.”

Clr Stewart-Turner said she would encourage people to buy the vouchers to give to the homeless for meals at the Mission cafe.

They are available from Huddersfield Library.