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Thousands of families benefit from Essex Fire Service's Winter Warmer Appeal

Over 9,000 items were given away in Dovercourt last month (ECFRS).

The appeal was set up eight years ago to help struggling families in North Essex who have little or no winter clothing, footwear or bedding.

Les Nicoll, Community Builder at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) has set up the Winter Warmer pop-up shop in Dovercourt since the appeal began.

Between 6th and 10th January 2020 Les and his team of volunteers set up shop and gave away 9,000 items to more than 1,300 families.

The families were also signposted to other agencies to help with housing, debt and employment advice, and a number of them booked Home Fire Safety Visits.

Essex Fire also said a number of beds and cots were provided for children who were sleeping on floors, as well as donating several bikes to help people get to and from work. 

They also arranged the delivery of a 'rise and fall' chair for an elderly man who had recently returned from hospital.

Winter Warmer Appeal Dovercourt (Essex Fire)
The Winter Warmer Appeal pop-up shop in Dovercourt last month (ECFRS).

A two-day pop-up shop was also set up in Colchester, which helped almost 950 people.

Les said: "Every caller was made very welcome with cake and coffee, my volunteers became personal shoppers assisting our clients with size selection and sourcing much needed items."

Another pop-up shop is being held in Jaywick today, 5th February, and tomorrow. 

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