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