Read our guide about shoebox appeals - helping homeless people this winter

CLICK HERE to join this year’s Pass the Parcel appeal


At this time of year, many people turn their thoughts towards those less fortunate and kindly donate shoeboxes, gifts, toiletries, food and other items to homeless people so they may be more comfortable for the winter or enjoy some Christmas goodwill.  

However, it’s important to remember that rough sleepers have different needs and requirements at different times of the year.

As a charity, we don’t have enough space to store the large amount of donations we receive at Christmas time.

We want to be able to provide items for our clients which are suitable, fit properly and protect against the weather at the time that they need them. People come in all shapes and sizes and we want people to have a dignified experience when receiving donated clothes from us. The items need to be appropriate and if we give our service users the element of choice, it all goes towards building up a person’s confidence after being homeless.

How to donate

If you have an idea to donate something, we ask you to contact and discuss if the items are needed.

However, if you can spare a donation each month – or a one-off donation – it helps us get more items to people, as and when they need them.

Alternatively, you can contact a project in your local area to find out what they need and to check that they are able to accept your donation – visit the Our Projects page for contact details.

Whilst we do have storage space at many of our projects, we are often overwhelmed with donations at this time of year – so it’s best to check before you start a collection.

Donation guidance

Your local project will advise you what they need at the current time – but if you want to donate shoexboxes, Christmas gifts, rucksacks, food or clothing for homeless people, please read the following:


Our rough sleepers’ outreach teams will make use of the following:  Toiletries (wet wipes, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste), combs/brushes, chocolate or cereal bars, socks and gloves.

Sleeping bags, roll mats and torches are also useful. Duvets will not be accepted.


The items needed most are hats, coats, hoodies, gloves, boots, brand-new underwear and socks.

However, your local project will be able to advise you what they can make best use of at the current time.


Gifts are welcome but please label them if they are suitable for men, women or children.

Please note, we cannot accept donations containing alcohol.


We only accept non-perishable foods, where the seal is fully in-tact. We will not take any fresh or homemade food.

Logistics and social media

If you are asking friends and family to donate to an appeal, think about how you’ll store and transport the donations. Appeals on social media have ‘gone viral’ in the past which is great – but this level of appeal will need some planning.

Help homeless people in another way this Winter

If you would like to make a financial donation to help us continue our work, please visit our Donate page.

To get help for someone who is homeless or sleeping rough, find details on our Help and Advice page.

If you would like to volunteer with us, please visit our Volunteering page.