As the autumn chill descends on many parts of the UK, you may start to see unusual items appearing under trees – and no, we don’t mean conkers.
Kind souls in the community are collecting hot water bottles donated by members of the public and tying them on trees for homeless people to use. Each bottle comes with a note detailing local businesses that have agreed to provide hot water, plus directions explaining how to reach them.
The grassroots project, called The Hot Water Bottle Network, currently operates in Bristol, Bath, Leicester and Brighton, and each city has its own Facebook page detailing donation points.
“It’s already cold on the streets,” said Bristol organiser Pete Wentland. “We are taking this action as an emergency measure to try to make the winter that tiny bit more bearable for those who face the worst brunt of it.
“In encouraging local businesses to help rough sleepers we also hope for a breaking down of the barriers that separate us.”
As well as the notes on the bottles, participating business windows will also display information about the project to help spread the word.
The Hot Water Bottle Network is keen to expand its efforts to more cities, with Cardiff next on the list. If you’re a member of the public or business owner willing to help, you can get in touch with Pete via the Hot Water Bottle Network Bristol Facebook page.