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QEII collects hundreds of coats to help London’s homeless

London’s QEII Centre has collected more than 700 coats and items of winter clothing to help support the city’s most vulnerable residents this winter.

The central London events venue partnered with charity campaign Wrap Up London to host a two-week collection from Monday 12 – Friday 23 November, and asked for donations of old, unwanted or unused coats to distribute to charities that support the homeless, the elderly and refugees.

Over the course of the two-week collection, the centre filled 37 giant sacks (each holding approximately 20 items of clothing) with winter coats, jumpers and scarves, which have now been delivered to the Wrap Up London headquarters, ready to be distributed across the capital.

Organised by charity Hands On London, the Wrap Up London campaign is now in its eighth year, and thanks to a combination of coat collections at London Underground stations, postal donations, and collections by businesses like the QEII Centre, helps tens of thousands of vulnerable people when they are most in need.

More than 300,000 people in Britain are officially recorded as homeless or living in inadequate homes, according to figures released by the charity Shelter. The problem is rife and in London, where one in every 59 people are homeless, the coats will be distributed via homeless shelters, refugee centres, organisations supporting the elderly, women’s refuges, children’s centres and other charities helping people in crisis.

Mark Taylor, chief executive of the QEII Centre, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the number of donations we have received over the past two weeks – from QEII staff, from event organisers and delegates, and from other local businesses in Westminster. It really demonstrates the collective community spirit we have here in London, and I hope that this will go some way towards making life a little bit more bearable for disadvantaged people in the city this winter.”

Jon Meech, CEO of Hands on London, said: “Every year we have experienced an increased demand for warm coats and this year is sadly no exception. As a largely volunteer-led campaign we can only hope to meet this demand with the help of partners like the QEII Centre who have so generously offered to host a coat collection and extend our campaign’s reach to Westminster.”

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