Laois charity urgently needs volunteers to wash sleeping bags

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

Laois charity urgently needs volunteers to wash sleeping bags

Portlaoise man, Tom Duffy, has led a movement of collecting sleeping bags, mats and tents leftover from Electric Picnic with the intention of giving them to people who are homeless and sleeping rough.

Tom travels to Dublin with Portlaoise Action to Homelessness (PATH) to meet, feed and share supplies with those who sleep rough or are homeless on the streets of our capital.

After Electric Picnic there were hundreds of tents, sleeping bags and mats left from festival goers.

Tom organised the collection and transport of the sleeping bags and tents with the help of Billy Fitzpatrick from PATH.

With the help of many people in the local community volunteering their time, transport, washing machines and dryers there will be a huge amount of clean sleeping bags ready to bring to homeless people ahead of the cold winter months.

However, the sleeping bags are damp from the festival and urgently need to be washed and dried so they do not go mouldy.

Help is urgently needed from anyone in the Portlaoise or wider Laois area who could volunteer to collect some sleeping bags, wash and dry them.

Marieanne Bergin is one of the people who has helped out and she posted the following message on Facebook:

"Just back from collecting sleeping bags from the lovely Tom Duffy. If anyone can help washing and drying please contact Tom. He showed me the room where most of the sleeping bags are being stored. There are hundreds of them. Most of these are muddy wet or damp. If they are not washed and dried soon they will go mouldy. Please please help if you can even if it's only to do a couple of sleeping bags. Also if you want to donate toiletries chocolate or crisps etc they will all go to good use. Big thanks to all the girls who have already taken bags from me today."

Stan Henderson took to Facebook to share the following message:

"HELP NEEDED IN PORTLAOISE WASHING SLEEPING BAGS Carmel Deegan Henderson can't wait to get started washing and drying sleeping bags that were collected after the Electric Picnic by Tom Duffy Billy Fitzpatrick and other volunteers from PATH for distribution to our homeless friends in the Capital. Anyone around Portlaoise that can wash some please contact Tom Duffy on Facebook or Messenger to arrange."

On Tuesday night, a local taxi man Ollie Maher, volunteered to pick up and drop off the sleeping bags to different people around the area who could wash them.

Anyone who can help should contact Tom Duffy on his Facebook page by clicking here.

Or contact the Portlaoise Action to Homelessness Facebook page here.

If there are any dry cleaners or businesses with the capacity to clean and dry the supplies faster they can also get in touch.

This act of kindness from Laois people pulling together has been ongoing since the festival ended on Monday and the clean and dry sleeping bags are going to make a huge difference to people sleeping rough as the colder months approach.

This video shows the huge amount of sleeping bags that urgently need to be washed and dried.