Leamington Rainbow group donates 22 Christmas shoeboxes to homeless charity

Back row from left: Megan Levis, Lianne Kirkman, Grace Whitely, a volunteer from Helping Hands, and Julie Brown. Front row from left: Beatrice Guest, Flora Fulton, Anais Sahota, Chloe Dempsey, Isabel Wales
Back row from left: Megan Levis, Lianne Kirkman, Grace Whitely, a volunteer from Helping Hands, and Julie Brown. Front row from left: Beatrice Guest, Flora Fulton, Anais Sahota, Chloe Dempsey, Isabel Wales

A Leamington Rainbow group met with local homeless charity Helping Hands to donate 22 Christmas shoeboxes filled with useful items to them.

St Mark's Rainbows, who meet at St Mark's Church in Rugby Road, collected items such as hats, gloves, and sweets to help make rough sleepers feel better this Christmas after an appeal by Helping Hands for people to donate filled shoeboxes.

And staff from Helping Hands, including manager Lianne Kirkman, gave a talk to the Rainbows about how difficult it can be for homeless people at this time of year.

Julie Brown, a leader at St Marks for the past 27 years, said the donation was a way of showing the values Rainbows have. She also said the group often supports Operation Christmas Child, which gives filled shoeboxes to children in war-torn countries.

She said: "We were thinking about our Rainbows promise, which is being kind and helpful to everyone. So we wanted to do something to help people within our community.

"Lianne was absolutely fantastic. The girls learned an awful lot."

Speaking about the appeal in a previous interview, Lianne said: “We do this appeal every year it is amazingly supported by the local community.

“We give the shoeboxes out to the local homeless and those who are vulnerably housed - and to local hostels, refuges and to those at our soup kitchen. We are also asking for people to give in an extra toy this year so we can give out a present to children.”