GLOBE readers are being urged to support a rucksack challenge in aid of charities helping Wirral’s homeless and most in need.

Donations collected as part of The Lauries Rucksack Challenge 2017 will be used by the YMCA Wirral and Charles Thompson Mission in Birkenhead to help those who are far less fortunate than the majority of us.

Last year, business owners and the public were praised for 'overwhelming' generosity after hundreds of rucksacks packed with essential items were donated to Wirral homeless charities following a Facebook campaign.

The donations were collected from drop-off points at Egerton House, Pacific Road Business Hub and The Lauries.

The initiative is supported by Wirral Chamber of Commerce and the Birkenhead BID. 

Speaking on behalf of The Lauries, Paula Basnett chief executive of Wirral Chamber of Commerce said: "In 2016 we were pleasantly overwhelmed by number of items collected, and on the run in to this Christmas period we will once again be looking to get a response which shows that Wirral, its people, and its businesses have big hearts and great generosity.”

According to the latest figures, collected in the autumn of 2016 and published in January 2017, 4,134 people are estimated to be sleeping rough on any one night.

There was an increase of 16% from 2015 to 2016, and since 2010 rough sleeping estimates show an increase of 134%.

The East of England has seen the biggest percentage increase in rough sleeping since last year (44%).

This is followed by the North West (42%), East Midlands (23%) and the North East (18%), all have seen rough sleeping increase above the national average.

Nigel Hughes chief executive of YMCA Wirral: "We are very conscious of weather conditions as we approach the Christmas period.

"If you're out on the streets or if you’re living on very, very low means and struggling even in heating a home, then initiatives like the Rucksack Challenge are of vital importance."

Staff and volunteers of YMCA Wirral will be on duty again this year at its night shelter, which has been operating since 2008, trying to ensure that no one has to survive, or even die, on the streets, and also to provide hot meals and a warm place to stay over the Christmas period.

By donating items and filling a rucksack or bag you can make a real difference in bringing some festive cheer to Wirral’s homeless.

Life-saving items in the rucksack can include:

  • Scarf
  • Gloves
  • Fleece
  • Flask
  • Jumpers
  • Clothing
  • New Underwear (male and female)
  • Socks 
  • Waterproof Kagool 
  • Blanket 
  • Small Water Bottle 
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Deodorants 
  • Shampoos
  • Shower Gel 
  • Shaving Foam
  • Wipes Conditioners 
  • Fem-Packs
  • Tissues Toothbrushes
  • Chap Sticks 
  • Wind Up Torch 
  • Hi-Energy Bars
  • Potatoes 
  • Peas 
  • Soup 
  • Carrots
  • Beans 
  • Sweetcorn (all tinned) 
  • Cranberry Sauce 
  • Gravy
  • Mint Sauce
  • Apple Sauce 
  • Soup (packets) etc.

Full details on the campaign from