A KIND-HEARTED Malvern man is collecting clothes for the homeless and vulnerable people this winter.

Wayne Whittaker is collecting as many warm coats and hoodies as he can to distribute to those in need.

Mr Whittaker, 45, intends to put up a rail near the Wilko’s store in Edith Walk where people in need of warm clothing can come and take a coat for themselves or their family, free of charge.

The first Free Rail will be open on Saturday December 1 from 1pm until 3pm – outside the Wilko’s.

It will then be available at the same time every Saturday until at least February 19.

Mr Whittaker, who is a football coach for Newtown Sports and a Cub leader for 2nd Malvern, says: “I have two kids so know how hard it can be to find money for everything and that’s why I’m doing this.

“With more people using foodbanks and not being able to pay for gas and electricity at least we can try and help them keep warm.

“I don’t want people to suffer the social stigma that can be attached to services like this.

“I’ve supported a friend who needed the help of a local food bank and the amount of people and red tape they had to go through had a serious effect on how they felt as a person and that for me is not acceptable.

“I hope this will be a benefit to those who need help but cannot get it.

“It will be free of charge and I hope anyone with coats they don’t want will donate."

Mr Whittaker is asking for anyone with unused coats and hoodies to donate them to the rail and hopes that if he has a surplus, he can take the extra clothes out to the homeless in the wider Malvern and Worcester area.

Mr Whittaker added: “I have been in touch with the council and they have no issue with me setting up a rail and I have canvassed my friends on Facebook and have plenty of donations coming in.

“This means I can have a varied array of both coats and hoodies for kids and adults.

“I have also set up an email so people can contact me so they can come and try on clothing for themselves and their children in private so they can receive the right clothing they need for themselves and their families.”

The Newtown Sports and Cubs venues will also be open to people who want to collect a coat rather than use the rail.

For more information or to donate, contact Wayne on keepsafewarm@gmail.com