Mum and daughter skip Christmas dinner to help homeless

L-r Glynis Franks, Matty Firth, Mel Firth, Tina Wallett and Karen Holloway are just a few of the volunteers helping the homeless in Doncaster by providing food, clothes and blankets.Picture: Marie Calry NDFP 22-12-14 Holloway MC 1

L-r Glynis Franks, Matty Firth, Mel Firth, Tina Wallett and Karen Holloway are just a few of the volunteers helping the homeless in Doncaster by providing food, clothes and blankets.Picture: Marie Calry NDFP 22-12-14 Holloway MC 1

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A mother and daughter will miss out on their Christmas dinner today - by taking to the streets of Doncaster to help the homeless.

Mum Karen Holloway and daughter Staci Barnes will give up the turkey and all the trimmings to dish out sandwiches and soup to those forced to sleep on the streets this festive season.

And the pair have been joined by a string of other volunteers who will be giving up their Christmas Day to bring a little cheer to those most in need.

Said Karen: “I am lucky and have a roof over my head but lots of people don’t. Missing out on Christmas dinner is no small hardship when you consider what some people will be contending with this Christmas.”

Missing out on dinner is the latest in a long line of good deeds carried out by Karen, 48, and fast food restaurant worker Staci, 23, of Bentley, since deciding they needed to do something to help out the homeless several months ago.

Karen said: “Staci came home in tears about the people sitting outside her shop begging for food. She just said ‘mum, we have to do something to help them’ and it has gone from there.”

The pair, along with a few friends, decided to pull on their thinking caps and began collecting sleeping bags, clothes, food and other items determined to do their bit to help the town’s rough sleepers.

“We went out on the first night with soup and sandwiches and it has just grown from there,” Karen added.

Now each Monday and Wednesday night, the We Can Help The Homeless In Doncaster group meets at a car park at the rear of Tesco in Church View where those on the streets can come for hot food, clothes as well as help and advice. They also walk the streets looking for people sleeping in shop doorways to help.

Since beginning their crusade, they have managed to help four people off the streets and have been praised by countless more for devoting their time and efforts free of charge in a bid to help others.

Added Karen, who was forced to give up her own job four years ago after a moped accident: “It made me think about my own life and how I could do more to help others who need it. The reaction has been incredible, they are so pleased that someone out there is able to help them.”

Karen is now on the lookout for a town centre-based building free to use as a permanent home for her campaign.

Anyone who can help, along with donations of food, clothes, blankets and other items can contact her on 01302 820070.