The Helping Hands Community Network has opened a branch in Shannon recently.

Shannon will host its first Winter Warmup events at Saint Bede's church on Stout Street, from 11am to 2pm on April 13.

Coordinator Anita Nunn is looking for donations of blankets, heaters, dehumidifiers, wet weather gear, hats and hot water bottles to ensure everyone stays warm this winter.

"Our primary goal is to ensure elderly and children have what they need to stay warm over the colder periods, and support those in the lower income brackets top up their winter supplies," she said.

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"Everything is free. We will have a koha box for those wishing to support our work, but people can take what they need on the day."

On her property in Shannon she has a large barn where everything is stored.

"My family are very supportive and they are used to having to climb over things."

She said she wanted to keep helping to recycle used household items while at the same time helping people in need.

"Basic human needs have to be met. No-one should have to eat less because a kid's bed is broken and needs replacing. Things we no longer need can be put to use in the lives of others who do need it and can't afford it."

Just some of the goods helping Hands has collected in Shannon.
Just some of the goods helping Hands has collected in Shannon.

Nunn said she gets requests from local community groups who know of people in need such as women's Refuge, who often help women set up home from scratch, and the Salvation Army.

Donations can be dropped off at 13 Julyan Street in Shannon until April 12.

Anita Nunn said she started Helping Hands four years ago in Palmerston North, but rising rents forced her to move and in December she settled in Shannon. Helping hands is run from her home and now has a number of branches around the North Island. Donated items are also advertised on Facebook.

Helping Hands Manawatū branches: www.facebook.com/groups/1190837907599728/
Feilding: www.facebook.com/groups/1679287372340035/
Pahiatua/Woodville: www.facebook.com/groups/1684037498479047/
Horowhenua: www.facebook.com/groups/1626522124275967/
Dannevirke: www.facebook.com/groups/890464384391258/