Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Woman brings creative idea to make sleeping bags for homeless people


A woman has created life-saving sleeping bags from empty crisp packets to help homeless rough sleepers survive the winter cold weather.

A 45-year-old woman, Ms Pen Hutson, from Hastings in East Sussex started ironing empty crisp wrappers together after the homeless charity she works for couldn’t provide a sleeping bag to everyone.

She brought a creative idea to create bivi bags using empty crisp packets which took only four hours.

“With homelessness on the rise, the demand is ever-growing,” Mirror UK quoted the woman, who started the life-changing project last November.

Pen, who has worked alongside the charity ‘Surviving the Streets’ for the past year and a half, explains: “I was lying awake in bed one night thinking what would it be like waking up in a crisp packet?”

A social media page was then set up for the project, which quickly gained 3,000 followers – at a rate so quickly it crashed the page.

The sleeping bags are made from crisp packets – donated by the YMCA and the general public – which have been washed, dried out and cut open to a landscape format.

Pen has also developed survival sheets which only use 44 crisp packets, and even over the shoulder bags. With so many donations, the cost of making the bags and survival sheets has only been the cost of having the iron on, which is used to seal materials together.

Plastic sheets have been donated from Hastings Sofa Company, near where Pen lives, which would have otherwise ended up in landfill.

“I don’t want to be putting more rubbish on the streets, so they need to be good quality,” she continued.

After raising £700 online, Pen is now on an 11-part tour of the UK spreading awareness and running workshops with schools, colleges and community groups to teach people how to make the potentially life-saving sleeping bags.

Her plan was to stop once the money ran out, but now says that her “heart is in the project” and she has struggled to step away.

Pen has continued working towards her goal of taking the bivi bags nationwide.

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