A PHOTOGRAPHER and councillor have been out with volunteers who help homeless people in Bradford to see the success of a new scheme.

Project Winter Coat was set up by Kelly Townsend, of Thornton, in November to distribute items such as coats, jumpers and socks to people living on the streets.

Volunteers have been going into Bradford city centre every Sunday evening distributing the clothing along with sleeping bags, mats and hot food and drink at drop-off points at the arches near Forster Square station, North Parade, Centenary Square and by the Alhambra.

Photographer Neil Terry, from Thornbury, recently joined the group.

"Nobody chooses homelessness, the majority of people I spoke to are care leavers who were failed by the system from a young age; people never see that side to homelessness.

"The visits seemed to have quite a big impact because it has been very cold and wet at night over the last month or so," he said.

"Over the two weeks I spent with the project, probably around 35 people came for help."

As well as handing out warm clothing, the group also chats with people to learn more about them and why they ended up on the streets.

Dani Batty runs the project's Facebook page and said the people of Bradford had been massively supportive.

"The public have been absolutely wonderful, they've really got behind us and we've had great support from local councillor Lisa Carmody, who has also been out with us to see exactly what we experience.

"So many people have given so much, donating unused coats, and going out of their way to buy socks, underwear, hats and scarves.

"Each and every person we have helped has been thankful and so humbled, but as we have kept going back they have genuinely become our friends.

"They've opened up and really shared their stories with us, where as at first they were very closed.

"They feel like they have been forgotten by a city that continues to develop, yet leaves them behind. I can only hope that the journey that our beautiful city is embarking on takes them for the ride."

Julie Drake, who was manager of the Blenheim Project for 15 years, has been advising the volunteers.

"It's heartening to see a group of people taking to the streets to provide such vital help this winter," she said.

"Its such a simple yet potentially life-saving initiative."

Project Winter Coat will continue its campaign throughout winter. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.projectwintercoat.wordpress.com.