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VIDEO: Town hall sleep-out planned to raise awareness

A councillor is planning a high-profile sleep-out on the streets to raise money for an organisation helping those struggling to make ends meet.

Independent representative for Bryn ward Coun Steve Jones wants people to bed down for the night outside Wigan Town Hall in June to help Ashton-based foodbank U Can Food Support.

Coun Jones with partner Courtney Bampton, and, back row from left, Polly Simm, Kelly Swift and Kim Turner

Coun Jones with partner Courtney Bampton, and, back row from left, Polly Simm, Kelly Swift and Kim Turner

The newly-formed concern, run by mother-and-daughter team Polly Simm and Kim Turner, is giving out food parcels after seeing hungry of people coming into their second-hand shops 3D don’t dump donate.

Coun Jones is helping raise £1,000 for fridges, freezers and cupboards to store produce needed for the foodbank but is relying on public support as he cannot currently allocate his Brighter Borough money.

He says Polly and Kim deserve widespread backing for their work and hopes the location of the sleep-out will drive up awareness.

Coun Jones said: “We don’t think enough attention has been given to homeless people and those needing foodbanks. Doing this sleep-out on the steps or nearby is us letting the town hall know more needs to be done. I need to be helping the community and £1,000 should get the back half of the shop equipped for storing all the food.”

Polly said: “I heard on the radio that in six months the number of parcels given out at foodbanks in the North West alone has gone up 200 per cent.

There are people on Universal Credit, tax credits and housing benefit who are renting privately and end up homeless because landlords won’t wait for money when there are delays.

“People have been coming into our shop and breaking down crying because they’ve got no food. There needs to be something in Ashton open every single day. We want to raise awareness of what the homeless go through.”