A weekly newspaper has launched a drive to keep the homeless of its patch warm this winter.
The Hastings Observer Coat Project was launched last month in conjunction with His Place Community Church, in Hastings town centre.
Chief reporter Maria Hudd and sales representative Kerry Stevens set up a clothing rail inside the church and are encouraging readers to drop off coats, hats, scarves and gloves they no longer want or need to allow people in need to pick up some winter woollies for free.
The project has been met with a “very positive” response from readers, who have inundated the Observer’s Facebook page with comments supporting the scheme.
Said Maria: “We shared a post on the Observer Facebook page a few weeks ago showing the scheme in operation in another area, and the response it got was so overwhelmingly positive, we decided to introduce a similar initiative here.
“Temperatures continue to drop and if we can help just one person stay a little bit warmer on the streets, then this has been worthwhile.”
For the last two years editorial staff, including Maria and senior reporter Laura Cooke, have taken part in ‘The Big Sleep’, an outdoor sleep out on Hastings seafront raising money for local homeless charity The Seaview Project.
And in 2015, the newspaper donated hundreds of meals to the Hastings and Bexhill Food Banks following the Observer series’ Christmas appeal.