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Vital homeless facilities stay open thanks to regional daily campaign

A regional daily has thanked its readers after a successful appeal in the newspaper saved two facilities for homeless people.

Last month the Oxford Mail ran campaigns to save O’Hanlon House homeless shelter and Ma Smith’s soup kitchen – both Oxford institutions facing closure due to funding issues.

In just a few weeks hundreds of people had put themselves forward to volunteer at O’Hanlon House, which provides up to 100 meals a day, while Ma Smith’s received £7,000 in donations to keep it open.

The success of the campaigns, led by reporters Sophie Mogridge and Michael Race, provided a front page for the Mail yesterday, pictured below.

Oxford success

Mail assistant editor Keeley Rodgers said the response was remarkable, adding: “When we discovered that two of the city’s lifelines were struggling with funding and volunteers and potentially facing closure we had to do something.

“We couldn’t have predicted the overwhelming response from our generous readers who stepped in to help save the services, they have been incredibly supportive.

“It’s fantastic news that both the homeless shelter’s kitchen and Ma Smith’s soup kitchen have been saved as a result of our coverage and the subsequent generosity of our readers.

“The success also demonstrates the importance of the regional press in championing the community and getting results.”