A hot cup of soup and a chocolate bar may not be much to most of us, but to Huddersfield’s homeless it’s a welcome gesture.
The man providing it, Dave Kennedy of the Huddersfield Change Project (HCP), hopes to make a difference.
On a cold Monday morning we joined Dave on the streets of Huddersfield to see what he does and how you can help.
Dave, 44, of Linthwaite , visited a number of men sleeping rough.
Rory is one of them and he welcomed Dave with a smile – a bond already formed between the two men from previous visits.
The temperature was 4°C but it felt colder with the wind. He was wrapped in a sleeping bag, but asked if there was another one going spare. Dave said he’d find him one.
He accepted hot soup, a few bars of chocolate and Dave asks if he needs anything else. Rory asks for some new gloves, which Dave hands over thanks to a donation by Zoe in Marsden .
“No-one leaves a warm house and decides to become homeless,” Dave said. “These guys need a bit of help and if offering a cup of soup makes a difference then it’s worth it.
“They don’t have it easy, one man had his sleeping bag set on fire.
“I think they appreciate human contact, someone stopping to talk and offer a warm drink. They love chocolate, it gives them an energy boost.
“I try to bring some humour and friendliness to how I approach them. I do it every weekday morning and would love to do more to help.”
Dave likens his ambition for HCP as a “small acorn from which a mighty oak will grow.”
He’s looking for a few venues in the town centre to re-fill his flasks of hot water and places to store items such as sleeping bags and coats.
He has some support. Greggs on New Street offers hot water, Outdoor World has donated warm hats and gloves, Ryans in Imperial Arcade will take donations of sleeping bags.
Other locations serve as drop-off points for donations: A&A PC Services, 8 Leatham Royd, Manchester Road, Marsden; Hill Top Fisheries, 30 Royd Street, Slaithwaite; The Star Inn, 7 Albert Street, Lockwood ; Ryans Newsagents, Imperial Arcade, Huddersfield town centre; Slaithwaite Funeral Home, Church Street; Milnsbridge Village Hall, Armitage Road.
Items needed include chocolate, toiletries, hats, scarves and gloves.
In the future, Dave aims to register HCP as a charity and is fundraising for a town centre base that will serve as drop-off, storage, soup kitchen and advice centre.
People can get in touch via the Huddersfield Change Project Facebook page. A Just Giving page has been formed to help raise funds for a town centre base: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/HuddersfieldChangeProject