North Sea operator Neptune Energy is doing its bit to help those sleeping rough this winter.
The Aberdeen-based company has donated £100,000 donation to Sheltersuit UK, which will fund around 1,500 ‘Shelterbags’, giving people protection from the elements.
It will also support the salaries of two Sheltersuit employees who first came to the UK as refugees.
It is the second year Neptune has provided financial support to the organisation, currently facing “unprecedented demand” for support.
Against a backdrop of a cost-of-living crisis, official figures have revealed a dramatic increase in the number of rough sleepers across the UK.
That includes a 24% increase in London alone.
Neptune’s head of ESG, Kate Niblock, said: “With the number of people sleeping on London streets rising, we want to provide immediate help to those who need it the most. We’re proud to be working with Sheltersuit to provide essential support to rough sleepers in London and elsewhere in the UK.”
Sheltersuit products are created from recycled materials, including waste products from the fashion industry and from outdoor materials like tents.
Shelterbags are portable, protected beds that are insulated, lightweight and roll up, making them easier to carry.
Meanwhile, Sheltersuits are wind and waterproof jackets with a sleeping bag attachment to provide immediate cover for rough sleepers.
They include a jacket, sleeping bag and duffel bag, with a large hood to shield the wearer’s face from rain and contain an integrated scarf.
In the last 18 months, Sheltersuit has distributed more than 400 Shelterbags and Sheltersuits in the UK.
The organisation also donated around 80 Shelterbags to support aid efforts in Ukraine this year.
The Sheltersuit Foundation was founded in 2014 by Dutch fashion designer, Bas Timmerman, after a friend of his father died of hypothermia while waiting for a homeless shelter to open.
Today, the organisation operates in the UK, Netherlands, South Africa and the United States.
Sheltersuit Foundation UK’s managing director, Ian Sutherland McCook, said: “Rough sleeping is never on anyone’s death certificate, but there is no doubt it kills people in the UK every day, every night.
“Local councils are warning of a tidal wave of need caused by the end of Covid eviction bans, benefits freezes and rising bills.
“The best solution is to bring rough sleepers indoors but the numbers are increasing faster than society’s efforts to provide shelter.
“We can’t leave them sleeping outside in the cold, which is why we are focused on delivering protection to rough sleepers either directly or via shelters and agencies.”
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