OUR appeal to raise £10,000 for Wyre Forest's homeless charity HELP has passed another milestone thanks to the generosity of Shuttle readers.

The Shuttle Run Appeal, launched in February to fund a new van to collect HELP donations, has now reached £4,473, meaning we're fast approaching the campaign's halfway mark.

And with more people in need of the charity's support due to the coronavirus pandemic, HELP founder Dave Griffin said a new van couldn't come soon enough.

"There are still a lot of people who need our services," said Dave. "Some have lost their jobs - some because of the coronavirus crisis - and others are just really struggling or have children to feed and they need our help.

"We've got more people than ever being referred to us by social services and Citizens Advice and we're still putting homeless people into accommodation, so we're desperate for furniture. The only problem is we've got no way of picking it up, so we are struggling at the moment.

"If we had the van, we could accept more donations from local supermarkets towards our food parcels too. We're always in need of more food donations."

Money raised through the Shuttle Run Appeal will pay for a brand new van to help the charity collect and deliver more donations to rough sleepers and people in need across Kidderminster, Stourport and Bewdley.

Shuttle editor Stephanie Preece said: "We're nearly halfway towards our fundraising total, which is amazing. We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated so far.

"But we're still a long way off our £10,000 goal, so we're asking people to give what they can - no matter how small - to help us to help some of the most vulnerable people in our community."

Could you, your school, workplace or community group hold a fundraising event for The Shuttle Run appeal? It could be a marathon in your back garden, an online fundraiser or a socially-distanced group challenge.

We'll be running stories in the paper each week as we get closer to our fundraising target. Email emily.collis@newsquest.co.uk and let us know how you’re supporting the appeal!

Donations can be made online via our new fundraising page justgiving.com/crowdfunding/the-shuttle-run-homeless-van-appeal.

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.