A SHOPPING centre in Runcorn has opened a collection point for warm clothes to help the homeless.

Shopping City in Halton Link Road is using an empty unit to collect clothes, coats, jeans, knitwear, scarves, gloves, hats and sleeping bags to distribute across Runcorn, Widnes and Warrington to homeless people this winter.

The unit is open until December 17 and has been swamped by residents donating their unwanted items.

Working with WireFM, the centre are now widening the distribution of clothing to Liverpool.

Karl Clawley, centre manager at Shopping City Runcorn said: “Over the last few years we have focused on toy appeals, all of which have been a great success, but more and more toy appeals are popping up so we wanted to put the plight of homelessness under the spotlight.

"It’s hard to believe in this day and age that some people have to live on the streets.

"Something in the UK system is not working to have record number of people living in doorways.

"The community has certainly proved that the spirit of Christmas is alive and well and have blown us away with their generosity in donating old warm clothes.

"Let’s hope other shopping centres across the UK follow suit and help raise attention to this plight!”

As well as residents supporting the project, businesses have stepped forward.

A company has donated 300 sleeping bags and Specsavers in Shopping City have offered free eye tests and glasses to the homeless.

The current participating charities involved include, Halton Lodge in Runcorn, Brennan Lodge in Widnes and Room At The Inn and The Y Project in Warrington.

If you are a charity that deals directly with homelessness, please visit the WireFM website for more information.