A FUNERAL home is pledging to help the needy with a collection of essential goods.
The Co-op Funeral Service, at Strathmore House, in Stockton Road, Hartlepool, has offered its support to the Salvation Army with a project called Christmas Kisses.
Staff are urging members of the community to donate non-perishable goods and food items which could make a difference to the lives of the needy or homeless in Hartlepool this winter.
Food such as tinned goods, pasta, rice, coffee, and tea bags, and other items such as sleeping bags, handkerchiefs, blankets, deodorant and toothpaste are wanted for the collection.
Funeral service manager Robin Hardy said: “It’s getting more and more difficult for people to afford essentials in the current climate and especially at Christmas time.
“Giving something to our collection would just be a nice gesture. Even something really small, just to help somebody worse off than yourself at Christmas time.
“All of the Co-op funeral homes are doing the same thing because we really feel strongly about making a difference.
“We want to collect as much as possible over the next few weeks so we can hand everything over to the Salvation Army in the week before Christmas.”
There are also collections, which have started this week, at Co-op branches in Cotsfold Lane, in Horden, Quilstyle Road, in Wheatley Hill, and Station Lane, in Billingham.
Robin said most branches are open for goods to be dropped off between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday, or if a donator is having trouble getting down to a branch, then a member of staff will be able to arrange a time to pick items up if necessary.
“I know a lot of older people might have trouble getting down here if it’s too far for them to walk, or if it’s not on their usual bus route, so I am willing to arrange collection of goods,” he said.
For further details or to arrange a pick-up telephone (01429) 274077.