The Barnet community has donated over 5,000 crisp packets to a local funeral arranger who turns them into warm foil blankets for London boroughs with some of the “highest levels of homelessness”.
Lorraine Gould, funeral arranger at M M Broad and Sons Funeral Directors on Woodside Lane, has so far created six blankets, using 75 crisp packets each, for rough sleepers in Tower Hamlets and Lewisham after appealing for people to drop off their leftover packets in a wheely bin outside the funeral home.
Gould began collecting crisp packets after seeing an advert for the Crisp Packet Project on Facebook, which creates foil sleeping bags, blankets and more from crisp packets donated by its supporters for rough sleepers in a number of areas in the UK.
After she started gathering crisp packets for the initiative she decided to turn them into blankets herself, so appealed for contributions from residents by putting a completed blanket in the front window of M M Broad and Sons.
As part of the project, Gould mails the completed blankets to the Crisp Packet Project’s Tower Hamlets and Lewisham groups, along with any excess crisp packets that she can’t use immediately, who then distribute them and other foil items sent in by supporters.
Keare Pearce-Downey, organiser of the Crisp Packet Project’s Lewisham group, said: “The support Lorraine has showed to the project as a whole is phenomenal. Our Lewisham group alone has received a number of blankets and thousands of meticulously washed and cut packets from her, all ready to be made into blankets, ground mats and more.
“We distribute these life-saving items to local outreach centres and shelters for their service users on the streets. We also personally distribute our hand-made items to whoever is in need of them.”