DOZENS of strangers braved gale force winds and freezing temperatures to help homeless people - after being inspired by a single message on Facebook.
The Good Samaritans in Burnley Library’s car park with food, clothing and even duvets before heading out across Burnley, Blackburn and Accrington to help more than 110 strangers in need.
The ‘Help The Homeless’ project was born from a single message posted online by Nelson man Liam Canning, 23, who travelled home from London in the storms on ‘Wild Wednesday’.
After voicing his concern on Facebook about the plight of the homeless, he decided to go and give them some food - only to be joined by more than 50 other strangers who read about his spontaneous act of kindness.
Liam’s girlfriend, Georgia Donlan, 20, said: “Liam was sat at home and said how horrible it must be for homeless people.
“He went on Facebook to see if anybody knew the areas homeless people might be in and it escalated from there.
A ‘Help The Homeless’ group set up on Facebook has now attracted almost 650 members since going online earlier this week.
And there have already been calls for similar groups to be set up across East Lancashire.
One member, Patricia Ellison, wrote: “Is anything being organised for the Darwen area? I would really like to help.”
Georgia’s mum, Bonnie, helped organise the dozens of well-wishers who turned up carrying bags full of food and clothing, sending them off in the search for people sheltering from the bitterly cold winds on Thursday evening.
The 41-year-old sales advisor, from Fir Street in Nelson, said the group had already helped 116 people, who had been found sleeping in stairwells, bins, and doorways.
In Burnley alone, there are believed to be around 200 homeless people, the council said.
She said: “We have had a very big response. On Wednesday there was at least 57 cars driving round, and it was quite successful, although it wasn’t easy because the homeless people were hidden away.”
Kaylee Walsh, 39, from Burnley, turned up with tea, coffee, soup, biscuits, and hoodies, jumpers and gloves after reading about the movement on Facebook.
She said: “I’m helping because I can. I’ve got a roof over my head and some people just don’t have that luxury.
“I’ve only just started using Facebook, and this shows the good that can come from it.”
To get involved, visit www.facebook.com/help.the.homeless.east.lancs