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HARP and hospital join forces this winter

27 November 2012


Southend University Hospital has teamed up with Homeless Action Resource Project (HARP) to collect food for the homeless.

As part of an environmental road show at the hospital that took place last Friday, staff were encouraged to bring along food items to donate to HARP.

Following the call, donations of non-perishable and long life food items such as tins of soups and packets of pasta arrived in abundance. The food will be used by the charity to supply hot meals and food parcels to those in need over the coming winter months. 

A total of 242 items were collected. Due to the success of the appeal, the hospital has now decided to launch a month-long campaign to encourage staff to keep donating. 

Former hospital employee, Tony Dunn, who now volunteers for HARP, thinks the idea is a fantastic one. "If every member of staff gave one item, that's 4300 little Christmas presents to HARP." 

HARP is a Southend-based charity that runs several 'help the homeless' programmes. It operates a day centre and night shelter, has a number of hostels across the town and offers cooking and budgeting courses - all with the aim of getting rough sleepers off the streets for good. 

The driving force behind the environmental road show was to promote the hospital's 'big switch off' which takes place today (Tuesday 27 November). Manoj Chohan, energy manager at the hospital, is on a mission to reduce the Trust's energy bill, one off switch at a time. 

He's encouraging staff to do their bit by switching off all electrical appliances before they leave their workspace to see how much can be saved. Manoj said: "Last year's day saved the equivalent of £47,000 or 256 tonnes of CO2 emissions; we're hoping to save even more this year."