A KIND-HEARTED woman who organised for nearly 100 scarves to be hung outside the Guildhall in Worcester for the homeless has expressed her disappointment when they were taken down hours later.
Carys Thurlby, of St Johns, created the Facebook event ‘Project Wrap it Up, Worcester’, in which 250 people signed up to donate homemade scarves for the homeless and the cold to take if they wanted.
The 91 scarves, which were hung by Carys and eight others at 4:30am last Wednesday (December 9), were taken down hours later by the council and given to a hostel in the city.
Carys said: “The scarves were taken down because we didn’t ask permission beforehand. We did argue that it was a positive thing and we were trying to do something nice and Christmassy.
“I had seen wool being wrapped around trees to spread awareness for homelessness before, I thought this would be a more productive way to help.”
A compromise was made that the scarves could stay up until 1pm.
Despite her disappointment, Carys kept a positive outlook on the event and said: “The scarves were then donated to Maggs Day Centre and not every homeless person uses the services they provide.
“But, in the time that the scarves were up, we saw three people help themselves. The scarves are still going to homeless people, so, at least they have not been wasted.
“We are so pleased that we achieved what we set out to do.”
Nina Warrington, Worcester City Council Service Manager for Community Activity and Strategic Housing, said: “We work closely with charities such as St Paul’s Hostel to prevent homelessness and help people sleeping rough to get a roof over their heads again. That is why we have arranged for St Paul’s Hostel to collect these scarves and hats so that they can be given directly to the people who need them.
“We operate a No Second Night Out policy in Worcester. This means that, rather than supporting people to sleep rough, we take action to bring anyone new to the streets indoors and ensure they do not need to sleep outside again.
“We would like to encourage people who want to make donations supporting homeless and rough sleepers to do so directly to charities such as St Paul’s Hostel, the YMCA and Maggs Day Centre.
“At this time of year, they are particularly looking for winter clothes, including good quality hats, gloves and coats, and thermal underwear.”