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Freshfields Animal Rescue is calling for knitters to help its festive homeless appeal

2 years ago

<strong>Freshfields Animal Rescue is calling for knitters to help its festive homeless appeal</strong>

Freshfields Animal Rescue has made an urgent appeal to knitters to help them support the homeless this Christmas.

The centre in Ince Blundell needs hats and scarves to include in a festive gift bag given each year to people and their animals on the streets of Liverpool and Wirral.

Deb Hughes, PR Officer for Freshfields, says: “We need 100 adult size woolly hats for the bags – and we have 30 so far! So we’d love people to get knitting and help if they can.

“We desperately need the hats, and scarves – and 100 chocolate bars – so if anyone can help donate these we’d be really grateful.”

The Christmas gift bags are part of an annual joint initiative with Liverpool-based Care for the Paw, which helps homeless people take care of their dogs, providing blankets, clothing, food, and toys for pets living on the streets or in hostels, as well as veterinary help too.

“The joint initiative is called ‘We See You’ and it aims to recognise that homeless people say they feel invisible much of the time,” says Freshfields’ We See You lead volunteer Margaret Evans.

“We want them to know that they are seen, and they are valued, by us.

“With Care for the Paw, we put together 100 parcels between us – they supply the dog treats, etc., and we supply the human things, the hats, the scarves, gloves, and a bar of chocolate.

“It’s to let homeless people know that they are not alone.  They are seen and we can empathise with them, particularly at the time of year when we’re all inundated with images of happy families in warm houses.”

And Margaret adds: “Care For The Paw helps homeless people’s pets all year round, they’re a great bunch.”

Care for the Paw was set up six years ago by Jan Hughes, originally from Ellesmere Port but now living in Knutsford, who says: “I was in my garden on a freezing February night with my five dogs and I got to thinking how cold it was and how on earth people on the streets managed with their dogs.

“The next day I put lots of tins in bags, and some blankets, and just went round Liverpool and dropped them off at their feet. I did that for a few weeks and then they got to looking for me. I started talking more to them and realised how easily this could happen to anyone.”

Care for Paw grew, with a team of volunteers joining Jan, and providing more help for homeless people and their dogs. Jan is now on call 24/7 and arranges vets appointments or organises food to be dropped off in Liverpool, Wirral, St Helens and Chester.

She’s based every week at the Phoenix Foundation in Duke Street where homeless people can pick up food or medication for their dogs, and the organisation offers outreach and drop-in sessions with vets as well as making sure dogs are microchipped, using its address and phone number.

Jan says homeless people rely on their dogs for companionship and more: “People don’t always understand that these guys have often lost everything else and the dogs are all they have. They love them and don’t want to be without them; and they put the welfare of the dogs ahead of their own.”

Anyone who can help Freshfields and Care for the Paw, by knitting or donating a hat or scarf, or providing bars of chocolate for the Christmas gift bags, can drop them off at Freshfields Animal Rescue Centre, or post them there: Freshfield Animal Rescue Centre, East Lodge Farm, East Lane, Ince Blundell, Liverpool L29 3EA.

Find out more about Freshfields here.

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