15-year-old Megan Holmes was Christmas shopping with her mum in Preston when she noticed the number of homeless people. Seeing the numbers that slept rough made her feel angry and frustrated. So she set up the Hope Bag charity. A hope bag is a reusable draw string bag containing everyday essential items that many of us take for granted such as toothbrush and toothpaste, water and thermal socks. Megan decided to speak to people at her local church and asked them to help. She fundraised by getting in contact with local businesses, companies and conferences and asking for donations. The word spread throughout Preston and Megan was inundated with donations from local people wanting to help too.
Her chaplain said “I personally could not think of a more deserving young person who truly wants to make a real change to the world around her and bring some hope to the homeless people she meets. When speaking to her about the project she said that even being nominated for an award like this is a great opportunity to raise awareness of homelessness, further than Preston and the North West. It means that more people will be able to hear about Hope Bags and maybe think about giving what they can and what would be useful to a homeless person they come across.”
Megan Holmes, 15
All Hallows Catholic High School, Preston (Archdiocese of Liverpool)