A Fenland travel agents is supporting the efforts of a Cambridgeshire man to bring a bit of festive joy to the homeless on the streets of London this Christmas.
Holiday with Us, which has offices in March and Wisbech, is collecting items for Ross Staples’ ‘Not Forgotten’ charity and is asking local people to donate good quality clothing, toys and food stuffs in the lead up to Christmas.
Ross, who is a county-based therapeutic specialist who lives in Peterborough, will be making his fifth festive trip to the capital this December and is hoping to hand out even more items to those in need.
“I started five years ago because I wanted to do something useful that would mean I didn’t have to spend Christmas with my family. I know that sounds harsh, but the truth is in 2012 I found out I couldn’t have children.
“It was a real blow I have nine nieces and nephews and I just found it really hard watching my brothers and sisters with them as they opened their presents, knowing I couldn’t have children of my own,” said Ross, 32.
“I didn’t want to just stop going to my mum’s, I wanted to do something to help other people and that’s when I came up with the idea of taking stuff down to London to give to people living on the streets.
“It has really taken off over the last five years and last Christmas I found myself up half of Christmas Eve cooking a 5kg turkey, slicing and dicing it and making into festive sandwiches to hand to people living rough. I hope to do the same again this year, which is why I’m really grateful that Holiday with Us is supporting me by collecting items in the Fenland area.
“I need good quality, warm clothing, blankets, as well as tinned foods and toys for children. At the end of the day I take what I have left to a big Crisis UK homeless shelter which looks after families. Nothing is wasted, whatever I take goes to someone in need and it is a really great feeling to be doing something useful,” said Ross.
Christina Purcell, of Holiday with Us, said: “I was more than happy to offer our shops as collecting points for Ross. The Wisbech office is currently closed for refurbishment but will be reopen from November 17 when we will be happy to take donations. The March shop is ready and waiting for people to drop things off for this great cause.”