A GROUP of women will open a free cafe for the homeless and vulnerable during the festive season.

Blackburn with Darwen community groups, Inspire, Community Restart, and Sisterhood will work with The Exchange to hold a free cafe at Meemaws from December 16 to 21.

Sarah Subhani, from Inspire, wants to encourage people to donate items such as sleeping bags and other hygiene products to the cafe or by contacting one of the groups.

Ms Subhani said: "We wanted to do something this Christmas to help the vulnerable and thought of starting the winter project.

"It's open to anyone in the community and we will also be offering support and signposting to any other services they might need.

"We aim to give coats and sleeping bags among other things and these can also be donated to us.

"The purpose is to provide a safe space for those who are in need of it, and to talk to them and offer some guidance.

"This time of year is especially hard for those who do not have anything and we wanted to make sure they were cared for as it gets colder."

Food will also be provided, and trained volunteers will run the sessions.