Essex

Colchester Woman sets up homeless coat gift rail

Fay Sibley
Image caption Fay Sibley said she heard about a similar scheme in Yorkshire and wanted to do something for people in Colchester

A paramedic said she has been "overwhelmed" by the response to a coat gift scheme she has set up to help keep homeless people warm in winter.

As first reported by Essex Live, Fay Sibley put up a rail outside the Colchester Library on Saturday.

Each day since then, she said, about 30 new coats are being added and about the same number being taken by those in need.

Ms Sibley said she was inspired by a similar scheme in Yorkshire.

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"It is just a very, very simple idea," she said. "Most of us have old coats in the wardrobe that we don't use and for somebody sleeping out on the streets it could be a real lifesaver.

"The response has been absolutely incredible. People have been so warm and generous about it.

"There has been such a willingness to get involved, it has been overwhelming."

She said while the rail is not being "policed", she hoped the philosophy behind it would prevent anybody abusing the system.

Colchester's MP Will Quince tweeted his support for the project saying Ms Sibley had shown "great initiative in making it happen".

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