Take One Leave One campaign launches Leeds branch in bid to keep everyone warm

A new scheme aimed at keeping people warm has launched in Leeds.

Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 2:32 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 2:38 pm
The Take One Leave One scheme has been launched in Leeds

Take One Leave One Leeds launches on Saturday (20 Feb), to help vulnerable people in the city during one of the coldest winters in recent memory.

The Take One Leave One campaign aims to provide warm clothing to those who need it by setting up a rail of donations in the city centre that anyone can take from.

The rail is being organised by volunteers Dan Petch and Angela Dugdale, who both wanted to help those in need and get as many people involved as they could.

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Dan, 24, said: “It would be good to see as many people to come out and support as they can.

“I think with COVID, we all need to band together and look after people who can’t look after themselves.”

The pair have been collecting donations from LS6, LS7 and LS8 postcodes ahead of Saturday’s launch and have seen a very positive response to their cause.

Dan said: “The spare room in my house is filling up.

“Because charity shops and outreach programmes at the moment aren’t taking on volunteers and are a bit worried about social distancing and COVID in general, I think there’s a big community spirit.”

Angela said: “I was on furlough last year and tried to find volunteering opportunities in Leeds and there were so many people coming forward.”

Angela noticed a particular surge in interest when their Instagram page went live, receiving 20 messages in the account’s inbox in a day.

The campaign is looking for donations of any warm clothing such as coats, jackets, scarves, gloves and hats, asking for donations to be pre-washed and bagged to keep everything COVID secure.

Whilst the campaign is primarily aimed at helping the homeless population, anyone who needs something warm when out and about can use it.

Take One Leave One Leeds is part of a national grassroots campaign started in London in January 2019 by journalist Stefan Simanowitz.

Soon, rails popped up all over the UK, and abroad in Europe, the US and Canada.

This year, the reach has been as big.

25 rails have been set up in the space of the last five weeks.

The idea from the original scheme was that anyone could print off a sign and make a rail for donations to go on.

There has never been a rail in Leeds before, and with temperatures dropping below freezing last week, Dan and Angela wanted to get it up and running quickly to help those in need.

The pair individually contacted the central team and were put in touch with each other just over a week ago.

Whilst the rail will only be in one location for now, they hope to grow the campaign to reach different areas of the city.

Angela is also hoping to take the rail to charities who do similar work with the homeless population but says that this sort of system is not a permanent fix.

She said: “We need to be better at creating a more circular economy and if we can at least use this initiative to help people, it’s definitely not a solution it’s more of a ‘papering over the cracks’.”

The Leeds rail will be set up from 12pm to 4pm on Cross Belgrave Street on Saturday. Full PPE will be worn and the organisers ask everyone to observe social distancing. For more information about how to donate and get involved, find the campaign at @tololeeds on Instagram.