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Walsall homeless group in 'urgent' appeal due to 'overwhelming' demand

By Jamie Brassington | Walsall | Coronavirus | Published:

A West Midlands homeless organisation has appealed for help due to "overwhelming demand" amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Shazia Nasreen, Nadeem Ashraf and Ali Khan from Walsall Outreach

Walsall Outreach usually cares for rough sleepers and some vulnerable people - but demand for its services has grown rapidly following the pandemic.

The community group is appealing for food alongside volunteer drivers who can deliver groceries to people in need.

Members of the public have already answered their calls for help but the group is still appealing for more donations.

Nadeem Ashraf, spokesman for the group, said: "Our volunteers and the community have been incredible.

"We asked people to donate groceries and within a few days we have received enough to feed 100 families.

"But, given the demand, this is only the tip of an iceberg that is growing by the day.

"The demand and need we are seeing at the moment is both significant and somewhat overwhelming."

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The group has been working alongside Walsall Council and charities to identify people in need.

Nadeem Ashraf

It has already received more than 30 referrals from these organisations.

Among the people that need help include: families with children; NHS workers; people who have lost their jobs; and disabled people.

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But Nadeem said: "The list goes on."

Walsall Outreach has been operating for more than five years where it has provided hot meals to the homeless and vulnerable people.

It is a branch of a larger organisation and has about 20 volunteers in Walsall.

Nadeem added: "Can we please ask for your help for people to donate a bag of groceries.

"We also urgently need people with vehicles to drop off these groceries to those in need."

Anyone who would like to volunteer or donate food is asking to contact the group by emailing info@walsalloutreach.com or search for them on Facebook.

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at jamie.brassington@expressandstar.co.uk.

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