TO celebrate The Shuttle's 150th anniversary, we're teaming up with homeless charity HELP to support more people in need in Wyre Forest.

The Shuttle Run Appeal aims to raise £10,000 for HELP, which gained official charity status last month, to enable its small team of volunteers to cope with the increasing volume of donations.

Money raised will fund a new van to help the charity collect and deliver more donations to rough sleepers and people in need across the district.

Kidderminster Shuttle:

HELP founder Dave Griffin said: "When HELP started out, we were mainly focussed on providing food and blankets to rough sleepers, which is still a big part of what we do, but recently we've started helping people who were previously homeless to find accommodation.

"We've already helped five people to get a roof over their heads. One lady was so grateful for our help, but when we got there, the place was completely empty. There was no bed, no curtains on the windows - she had been sleeping with a blanket on the floor.

"We know the public are behind us. People are always offering us old TVs, beds and bags full of donations, but we just don't have a way to transport or store them all at the moment."

Volunteer Jo Ridsdill-Wardle added: "If we had our own van, we could collect and deliver these donations when people need them, instead of trying to cram what we can into my car.

"The way HELP has grown in the last year has highlighted to me how many people are in need in the area."

HELP is also looking to secure a storage unit for larger donations like furniture and appliances, and any money left over from The Shuttle Run Appeal will go towards supporting the charity's work.

Volunteers at HELP already host a weekly night kitchen in Kidderminster, take donations of food, clothes and toiletries to people sleeping on the streets, and provide support to those in need during important appointments.

Shuttle editor Stephanie Preece said: "We are delighted to be able to support HELP and the vital work they do for those in our community who find themselves homeless.

Kidderminster Shuttle:

“The van will make a huge difference to the charity’s work and enable them to do even more to come to the aid of some of the most vulnerable and needy people in our town.

“We pride ourselves at The Shuttle in making a real difference to our local community, and I would urge anyone who feels they can help us, be it by holding fundraising events or making donations – no matter how big or small – to play their part.”

Donations can be made online here, or cheques can be sent to Kidderminster Shuttle, Second Floor, Copthall House, 1 New Road, Stourbridge DY8 1PH. Make them payable to HELP and write SHUTTLE RUN on the back.

Bank transfers should go to HELP, Lloyds Bank, account number 38430260, sort code 30-91-91.

The Shuttle will be running stories each week as we get closer to our target, so email and let us know how you’re supporting the appeal!