Blackpool independent World Travel Lounge has thrown open its doors to support a local homelessness charity that helps rough sleepers and disadvantaged people in the town.
The agency’s Birley Street store stayed opened until 10.30pm last Tuesday (21 January) as staff partnered with The Albert Project.
More than 20 people were welcomed and given hot soup, as well as clothes and toiletries donated by World Travel Lounge customers and locals, while store manager Sharna Wilcock also organised for a barber to come in and give free haircuts.
Wilcock said the idea for the charity partnership was inspired by her walks to and from work since joining in August 2018, during which time she had seen a growing number of rough sleepers.
“I only live about 20 minutes from Blackpool town centre, but it feels like a world away when you think about how bad our homelessness problem is becoming,” she told TTG.
“It feels like I’m seeing more and more people sleeping in the streets or in doorways. It’s important to do something about it.”
Wilcock said donations had come from as far afield as Manchester, with one woman driving 50 miles to the store to drop off donations after heeding the call on social media.
“We’ve still got so much stuff, and it’s definitely something we want to repeat and build on,” added Wilcock. “It was very humbling for us as a team. Everyone we’ve helped is local, and it’s only their circumstances that are different to ours.
“Being part of Midcounties Co-operative is all about supporting your local community, and I feel we really embody those values.”