A HOMELESS charity in Inverclyde is appealing for help to meet demand this Christmas. 

Starter Packs Inverclyde are looking for donations so they can deliver special festive packs to everyone in need.

Homeless families will get some extra help with special gift boxes which will contain a tree, decorations, presents and selection boxes.

Officials at the charity say they are busier than ever before, with no fewer than 40 families a month needing starter packs full of vital items in the run-up to Christmas.

Co-ordinator June Glancy said: “We like to bring some Christmas cheer to those moving in to a new home.

“We will give them the decorations along with gifts for everyone in the family, selection boxes and maybe books or a hat, glove and scarf set.

“There has been a real increase in demand.

“As well as homeless referrals we also do a lot of work to help families in poverty.”

As well as the special Christmas effort the charity also puts together regulsar starter packs throughout the year.

For a couple with two children the packs cost up to £300 and they are packed full of vital items.

June, who has been involved for 13 years, said: “It still moves me when I am putting a pack together for a wee girl or a wee boy. You just want to make sure that they feel at home.”

Since setting up in 2004 Starter Packs have sent packs to 3,800 homes, including 2,800 for children and 4,000 for adults.

They receive funding from Inverclyde Council and are supported with donations from 23 churches in Inverclyde.

They also have backing from the Co-op, TSB and other organisations to allow them to put together hundreds of packs every year.

Inverclyde Starter Packs chairwoman Ruth Bennett, pictured above with June, said: “We are very grateful for all the support we get.

“Homelessness has such a dramatic impact on families, including the children involved.

“It is good to help in some way.”

Starter Packs are holding a fundraising coffee morning on Tuesday November 28 at St Mary’s Church hall in Greenock from 10am to noon. 

Anyone wishing to donate cash or any Christmas goods to Starter Packs should contact the charity, based in Empress Court, on 01475 78714.