The Easter Bunny Project: Colne teaching assistants tackling homelessness

Lucy (right) and Tess (left) on their Christmas trip into Manchester to hand out gifts to homeless people.
Lucy (right) and Tess (left) on their Christmas trip into Manchester to hand out gifts to homeless people.
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After spending a day over Christmas handing out gifts to homeless people in Manchester, two Colne teaching assistants will be heading back into the city to distribute Easter Eggs to rough sleepers as part of their 'Easter Bunny Project'.

Inspired West Street Community Primary School teaching assistants Tristesse "Tess" James and Lucy McPherson headed out onto the streets of Manchester on December 23rd last year to hand out hot food, drink, and 35 gifts consisting of toiletries, clothes, and food items - all of which had been donated by parents and wrapped by children at the school.

In an effort to help those "low in morale and in need of a smile" living on the streets of a city in which the number of homeless people has quadrupled since 2010, Tess and Lucy will be making their way back into Manchester for their 'Easter Bunny Project' on March 31st to hand out Easter Eggs to people who would otherwise not get them.

"The homeless project is something I have always wanted to do," said Tess. "We met many who told us about their anguish at being stuck in their situations and wanting to better their lives but feeling they had nowhere to go for help.

"Lucy and I will donate as many Easter eggs as we can to people who are sleeping rough and would like one," she added. "It costs as little as £1 to donate an egg and can make a huge difference to those with low morale or are hungry and cold. It's just a small boost in an otherwise difficult day.

"If we can get over 30 donations, we might just wear fancy dress to go and deliver them!" Tess said.

In an effort to be someone to whom rough sleepers could reach out for the small things which make all the difference, Tess and Lucy's project offered a great way to gift someone with what is to them a luxury item to boost morale in the face of what is becoming an increasingly pressing issue across the UK.

"Every day I feel blessed for the roof over my head and the small things that many of us take for granted; it struck me that it's the small things which can really make a difference to a day," Tess said. "Some people told us they were cold, others said they had just wished for a treat of chocolate and hadn't been able to have any.

"The emotional impact it appeared to have on people made me want to do something similar as I believe that everyone should feel that someone cares about them."

To make a donations, text Tess on 07816 214 760 or get in touch via email at outcryarts@gmail.com. She will be collecting donations from the 1st of March.