Outreach group Don’t Walk Past from Salford took the streets of Manchester last night to help those in need.

The group hosted a Christmas pop-up event on Peter Street, Manchester handing out everything from clothes, to Christmas cards to Christmas dinners. 

The event had around 30 people helping and handing out resources including the likes of a barber and chiropodist.

Services provided by the local barbers and chiropodist all came free of charge.

The group had a large supply of products to hand out, all of which had come from donations.

Products being handed out include Christmas bags, women’s products, tops, coats, thermals and food.

Don’t Walk Past take to the streets of both Salford and Manchester five nights a week to help out the homeless.

Ronnie Hillyard from Ordsall began the outreach group in February and since then the group has gone from 3 to over 1,000 people helping out on Facebook.

Ronnie had previously helped with other groups, before creating his own which he claims is now the only group that runs five days a week.

Ronnie said: “I just came out one night and saw a man sat in a wheelchair down there. He had one leg, in a wheelchair, starving and I just thought that can’t be right so that’s how it started.

“I got my car, filled it with food and we’ve been doing it since February”.

As it was raining during the pop-up event the group didn’t expect to see many people, but Ronnie explained this is not usually the case: “The most we’ve ever done on a Friday is 66 in one night.

“We take out 50 meals five nights a week and we always need 50 and that’s only the people we can see”.

The group thrives solely on donations from within the group and companies, like Greggs and KFC, who have got involved with donating.

Ronnie explained: “Everything you see from the tin of peas to the gazebo, it’s all donated.

“The only thing that isn’t is the car, that’s mine”.

One helper, Amanda Thompson also added: “We get lots of leftover Gregg’s on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays, we get KFC twice a week and Nando’s once a week”

The group not only feeds the homeless but they also think of the little details by sending Christmas cards.

Whilst it might seem like a daunting thing to help with for some people, Amanda explained how much she loves getting involved: “When you first come out you think, yeah Ill just come out but it is like a bug.

“You get a feeling that you’ve done something and helped someone. If you just help one person, once a week, its really nice”.

Another helper, Dean, told us how it makes him feel: “I always say on Facebook, if you’ve not done it then give it a go because it eye opening and rewarding.

“We go on like we have troubles in work and everything’s weighing you down, but when you’ve done this it puts it into perspective”.

The drop off point for donations is located at DPD Local in Eccles, where they have a storage unit or receive donations through JustGiving.

Image Credit: Lily Harris

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