First Vending Machine for Homeless People in the UK Launches

    The first vending machine for homeless people in the United Kingdom is launching in the run-up to the Christmas holidays.

    The vending machine will provide sanitary towels, fresh fruit, sandwiches and socks to homeless people.

    According to the Nottingham Post which initially reported the story, the vending machine which was launched in Nottingham will be able to cater a maximum 100 homeless people that can make use of the vending machine 24 hours a day outside of the Broadmarsh shopping centre.

    The charity has collaborated with an outreach centre in the city called The Friary, to supervise the access of the people to the vending machine cards. The FareShare charity has donated half of the items on the vending machine.

    Trustee Huzaifah Khaled stated that the new charity is aiming to add more locations in 2018.

    A vending machine will also be installed in Manchester in January and depending on the success of the said scheme in Nottingham, more machines will then be installed in Birmingham and London.

    According to the charity Shelter, Homelessness has increased in the United Kingdom with about 307,000 people sleeping rough in the country currently.

    A fresh report by the charity claims that the number of homeless had grown by 13,000 in 2016.

    Reports said that the rise was partly because of the government welfare changes including the cuts to housing benefit and the introduction of Universal Credit.

    The charity revealed that it received a call for help every 22 seconds in the run-up to the Christmas holidays in 2016. Over 500 calls were made on the Eve of Christmas and on Christmas Day.

    It has hired additional advisors for its helpline this year in anticipation of the situation becoming worse during this winter.