Generous Dubliners adorn Ha’penny Bridge with donated coats for the homeless

The ‘Warm For Winter’ campaign encourages locals to leave their unwanted coats for people who need them. As a result, Dublin’s Ha’penny Bridge is a heartwarming sight.

Generous Dubliners are donating coats to the homeless by hanging them on the Ha’penny Bridge
Credit: @DublinVC / Twitter

As the temperature drops in Ireland’s capital, local people are being encouraged to donate any unwanted winter coats to the homeless.

Dublin’s Ha’penny Bridge has been allocated as a drop-off point with signs stating, “If you need one, please take one. If you want to help, please hang one up.”

Pictures of the selection of coats have spread via a ‘Warm For Winter’ Facebook page and the Twitter hashtag #warmforwinter.

Acts of kindness

The #warmforwinter campaign aims to help the homeless in Dublin
Credit: @DublinVC / Twitter

Patrick Fryers started the ‘Warm For Winter’ campaign in response to the growing homelessness crisis in Ireland’s capital.

His aim is to provide rough sleepers in Dublin with warm coats to use during the colder months.

He hopes the initiative will spread to other locations and believes it is an achievable way to raise awareness and encourage people to help the homeless.

Patrick said, “Even if it’s only one coat, bring it to anywhere you think someone might need it and hang it up.

“Imagine everyone else doing the same thing, it’s not a big task.”

After considering the environment, Patrick decided not to cover the coats with plastic for fear it would blow into the River Liffey below.

He will continue to collect unwanted coats during the next few months and hang them from the railings of the Ha’penny Bridge.

Anyone donating is encouraged to leave coats and jackets of all sizes as well as woolly hats, scarfs and gloves in the collection box.

A smaller sign instructs anyone who needs a coat to simply take one and leave the hanger.

Crisis point

The Ha'penny Bridge is adorned in donated coats
Credit: @juliana.it / Instagram

Word about the campaign has coincided with hundreds of protestors flooding the streets of Dublin in response to Ireland’s growing homelessness crisis.

Senior Manager for Emergency Services at Dublin Simon Community, Claire McSweeney, spoke about the crisis recognising Christmas as a difficult time for those without a home of their own.

She said, “There are over 10,500 children and adults across Ireland who will get through this Christmas season without experiencing the comfort and safety of closing the door behind them and relaxing in their own home.

Christmas is a tough time of year for the people we work with and they really feel a sense of loss and sadness as to what they are missing out on.”

Since The Irishtown House Pub in Dublin 4 shared one customer’s photo of the coats, the project has gained lots of recognition and praise from the public.

One follower acknowledged it as a “fantastic idea” while another said it is a “great way to show kindness.”

We thoroughly agree and encourage anyone with a spare warm coat to either take it to the Ha’penny Bridge or donate it to the Dublin Simon Community.

With homelessness reaching a national crisis point, this simple act of kindness could really make a difference to someone’s Christmas this year.

So scour that wardrobe and learn more about the campaign here.

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Erika Sanger is a journalist who has written for a range of news hubs across the globe. Born and bred in Dublin there is nothing she enjoys more than writing about her homeland. Her heart lies in the fishing village of Howth on the North side of the capital but she can often be found in the West of Ireland indulging her fascination with the Wild Atlantic Way and her soft spot for Connemara ponies.