Fam­ily spreads Christ­mas cheer with ‘a hug for the home­less’

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

A FAM­ILY from Ruis­lip spent a day spread­ing Christ­mas spirit in the form of es­sen­tials for home­less peo­ple across Lon­don.

Johnathon Con­way, wife So­phie, Kerry O’Mal­ley, and her sons Bobby and Theo Juli­enne, trekked across the cap­i­tal on De­cem­ber 22 to de­liver win­ter sup­plies to peo­ple with­out any­where to cel­e­brate Christ­mas.

The fam­ily have dubbed the pack­ages ‘hug for the home­less’ and 2016 is the sec­ond year they have helped those sleep­ing rough dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son.

Mr Con­way said: “This is the sec­ond year run­ning my wife and I have done this and the re­sponse has been amaz­ing.

“Peo­ple have been ex­tremely gen­er­ous and we were able to send out three cars worth of Christ­mas pack­ages.

“So­phie and I felt strongly about putting back in to the com­mu­nity as both of us are blessed with warm homes and be­ing sur­rounded by fam­ily at Christ­mas.

“It’s such a hum­bling ex­pe­ri­ence and sit­ting lis­ten­ing to their life sto­ries has re­ally made me re­alise how lucky I am and how eas­ily it is to fall on hard times.

“I am hop­ing to do this on a big­ger scale next year as see­ing what a pos­i­tive im­pact [it made] has spurred me on.”

The pack­ages in­cluded blan­kets, coats, toi­letries, a Christ­mas card for each per­son, water, and even some cho­co­late for the poor home­less peo­ple who were liv­ing on the streets on De­cem­ber 25.

Mr Con­way is now plan­ning on set­ting up his own char­ity called A Hug for the Home­less to help more peo­ple and with his wife is hop­ing to set up a soup kitchen.

The fam­ily is look­ing for help from any­one in the lo­cal area who wants to help with their char­ity ef­forts.

Mr Con­way added: “I would also en­cour­age par­ents to al­low their chil­dren to come.

“It opened my neph­ews’ eyes up to what is go­ing on in the world and em­pow­ered them to be able to help.

“Bobby and Theo helped de­liver and also sat and lis­tened to their life sto­ries.

“One of the gentle­men, Will, who was liv­ing rough in Cam­den, said he couldn’t re­mem­ber the last time a fam­ily of peo­ple had spo­ken to him and he en­joyed in­ter­act­ing with us.”

Peo­ple have been ex­tremely gen­er­ous and we were able to send out three cars worth of Christ­mas pack­ages

TEAM EF­FORT: From left, So­phie Con­way, Johnathon Con­way, Will, Theo, Fred­die and Bobby.

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