‘It really shows the community spirit’ – Bassingbourn woman amazed at response to three-week campaign she started to help homeless military veterans’ charity

Royston Tesco community champion Mandy Jinkerson, Jackie Ives and Lisa Moore.

Royston Tesco community champion Mandy Jinkerson, Jackie Ives and Lisa Moore. - Credit: Archant

A caring woman from Bassingbourn said she couldn’t believe how much a small campaign started on Facebook has snowballed into raising £1,000 and 200 packs of supplies for homeless ex-servicemen and women.

Jackie Ives, 53, became aware of the work of the UK Homes 4 Heroes charity when she knitted scarves for them – she donates items for many causes but she said this cause in particular really stuck with her.

“My father was in the RAF and my husband’s father and grandfather were in the army, and the more I learned about what the charity does the more I wanted to help.”

“So I started the post on Facebook and I was surprised by how much it escalated, it knocked me sideways.

“I thought I could get maybe 20 packs of supplies – which include a hat, scarf, warm clothing, coffee, hot chocolate, toiletries, items for dogs, and to send that would be something, but we got enough for 200 – it’s only been three weeks!”

The charity was founded in 2010 by Jimmy Jukes MBE and Michelle Thorpe to help feed and house ex-serviceman living rough around the country.

“The incredible response really shows the community spirit,” said Jackie, who has business Nanna Nutt Nutt’s Knits and lives with husband Malc and daughter Laura, 22. Groups that got involved included the Royston Royal British Legion and Tesco.

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“I’m so pleased people got involved, it has been amazing. Of course we have Bassingbourn Barracks so the military is an important part of life here.”

Jackie went to see Angela Malster of Heaven Scent Bath Bombs, who she knew through craft work, and she and her husband Bill, of Fourways Ltd in Kneesworth, offered to transport the donations to the charity by lending them a van and driver for free, and they also donated £1,000.

“Jackie told us about what she was doing, and it was a no-brainer,” said Bill. “These people put their lives on the line for us every day so it’s the least we can do.”

Royston Tesco Community Champion Mandy Jinkerson said: “It was lovely to be able to support the cause, and provided toiletries for both men and women, and it was great to meet Jackie and to have that good relationship going forward.”

The donations are going off from Bassingbourn to the charity base in Rotherhithe on Saturday at 9am.

Jimmy Jukes said: “We want to thank Jackie and everyone who donated, it’s good news for the lads and lasses we help on the streets 365 days a year. To donate visit www.ukhomes4heroes.org.uk.”