Winter campaign helps vulnerable people in Birmingham stay warm

‘Pass it On’ initiative distributes essentials in city centre.

Wholesale and freight specialist Connect Group has donated more than 500 coats, sleeping bags, blankets and care packages to vulnerable people in Birmingham this week, as temperatures dip below freezing for three consecutive nights.

Now in its fourth year, the Pass it On campaign has donated thousands of items across the country, encouraging colleagues, partners and the general public to get involved and gift items to the campaign, which are being handed out in cities throughout the UK.

Volunteers began in Carrs Lane yesterday at 6pm and spent the evening handing out essentials in hotspots around the city centre.

Pass it On is part of a national initiative, which brings together colleagues from the Connect Group, that includes Smiths News and Tuffnells in its portfolio, and has also been supported by a number of high profile businesses and members of the media.

This year, the campaign received contributions from Adidas and Market Force, The Telegraph donated £1,000, while News UK, The Daily Mail, Associated Newspapers, The National Federation of Independent Retailers all collected clothing. Great Run Group, Cliff Bar and IPRO also provided food and drinks.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that between 2013 and 2018 there were 113 homeless deaths in Birmingham, highlighting the seriousness of the issue facing vulnerable people in the city.

Speaking about the importance of the campaign, Interim CEO of Connect Group, Jon Bunting said: “Every garment and item donated to the campaign is so important in the short term to help support people who are homeless or sleeping rough. No matter what time of the year it’s vital people in communities across the UK including Birmingham come together to help support those who are vulnerable. In the winter months, with the low temperatures, it is even more critical that we ensure as many sleeping bags, coats and blankets, as well as other essential items reach those in need.

“Homelessness is a real issue in the UK that needs a long-term solution. Vulnerable people continue to need the support of campaigns like Pass It On and it’s even more concerning to see how many children and young people are affected. As always we couldn’t do this without many fantastic volunteers and generous donors who have provided items, hot food and drinks to the people who need them most.”

Since its inception in 2016, the Pass It On campaign has helped donate over 5,000 bags of winter clothing and sleeping bags to around 1,000 people sleeping rough.