A former young homeless man is driving a nationwide incentive to generate survival blankets in a bid to help rough sleepers over the winter period.
Miley Porritt, 23, from Somerset, has experienced rough sleeping first hand, and is calling for people across the UK to send him their empty crisp packets which are used to make these blankets.
With an estimated 320,000 homeless people in the UK – an increase of 4% from last year – this project aims to help thousands of rough sleepers across the country.
Mr Porritt told Mancunian Matters: “I have experience of homelessness and I know how cold it gets at this time of the year.
“I’ve been freezing and it wasn’t a nice experience.
“I’ve only just recently moved into a flat, so now I can give back a little.”
Mr Porritt runs an ironing company, The Iron Man, and in efforts to increase recycling, the idea of ironing crisp packets together to create large blankets came about.
Each blanket requires 150 crisp packets, and with a singular packet taking 80 years to decompose, this repurposing is a great way to help the environment and the most vulnerable in our society.
Mr Porritt said: “I’ve been speaking to charities and some of them are running out of blankets and sleeping bags and emergency foil blankets.
“We’ve been told we’re making a really essential thing – it’s a lifesaving product really.”
This incentive should take the strain off many charities throughout the winter months, and aims to target as many at risk people as possible.
Mr Porritt continued: “We didn’t realise how fast this was going to take off and how many people were going to be interested in it – it’s gone crazy!
“We’ve got people offering help from pretty much all over the country – we’re wanting to distribute these blankets everywhere.”
Money raised by crowdfunding will contribute to equipment needed to make these blankets and distribution costs.
Following lockdown, there are hopes of arranging socially distanced fundraisers to increase involvement in the project.
Mr Porritt is hoping to collect as many crisp packets by the 3rd December to maximise the numbers of blankets available for distribution.
Any donations are greatly welcomed on the go fund me page: https://gf.me/u/y7cpuj
To check out more about the project, you can visit: https://www.facebook.com/112676923976312/posts/112683410642330/?d=n