Extern is appealing to generous members of the public to donate water, sun cream and other heat-busting items for people who are facing homelessness on the streets of Belfast this summer.

Recent high temperatures have seen many of the people whom it supports facing risks to their health such as dehydration, sunburn and sunstroke, particularly as they have nowhere to shelter from the heat.

Among the key items the charity is asking for are:-

  • Bottled water
  • Paper or plastic cups
  • Sun cream
  • Light summer clothing
  • Sunhats
  • Umbrellas
  • Socks and footwear
  • Backpacks/haversacks
  • Toiletries
  • Underwear
  • Pet food

Extern operates a number of projects which provide supports to people who find themselves facing homelessness, including the Homeless Support Team. Operating out of Extern’s services hub on Royal Avenue, this offers support to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and have complex additional needs, such as poor mental health, drug and alcohol use and physical health issues, among others.

Manager Kim McGarry from the team said: “Homelessness is harmful to health all year round, but it can be particularly risky during hot weather. Even when the sun isn’t shining, the humidity and high temperatures can still lead to physical difficulties for those who are exposed to them outdoors for prolonged periods."

"Many of the people we support simply don’t have the option to go indoors when the day is at its hottest or have access to clean and safe drinking water or appropriate clothing."

“Items like water, sun cream and hats might seem trivial, but they can literally be lifesavers in hot weather if offered to someone who finds themselves without somewhere to find shelter. We’re asking the public to please do what they can to support our call and help make a difference for someone on the streets this summer.”

Donations of items can be dropped into Extern’s offices at 118-122 Royal Avenue, Belfast, anytime between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.