A HOMELESSNESS charity is launching an appeal to help those on the streets cope with the extreme hot temperatures the county is currently experiencing.

With sweltering heatwave temperatures likely to continue through July, street homeless people can struggle to keep cool and hydrated throughout the day.

This can lead them to suffer dehydration and sunstroke, resulting in hospitalisation in severe cases.

In a bid to help, Emmaus Gloucestershire, the homelessness charity that offers a home and meaningful work to 31 former homeless people, is launching their summer rucksack campaign.

Each rucksack will offer summer essentials, including, sun screen, water, baseball caps and additional clothing.

The public can donate items as well as funds to ensure as many rucksacks can be filled for those in need.

Donations can be dropped off at one of five Emmaus shops from 10am to 5pm or via their regular soup run on Eastgate Street, Gloucester city centre every Wednesday.

During July the soup run will run from 9pm -10pm and from August 1 from 7.30pm – 8.30pm.

Emmaus Gloucestershire’s summer rucksack appeal follows their successful Christmas campaign last winter, which offered winter essentials for street homeless people.

Alongside water and sunscreen, the summer rucksacks will also include soap, toothbrushes, underwear and clothing.

Homeless individuals who visit their Wednesday evening soup run in Gloucester will be handed a rucksack if needed.

Joe Feeley, CEO at Emmaus Gloucestershire said: ‘Street homeless people endure increased health issues during extreme weather, sub-zero or sub-tropical.

"We’re keen to help and profile the issues facing street homeless people throughout the year.

"It’s also an opportunity for the public to offer support, helping to alleviate the problems they face.

"Our Wednesday soup-kitchen, led by our Emmaus residents and volunteers, is the easiest place for people to collect their rucksack.

"We’re so thankful for the support and donations we received from Gloucestershire residents last year and hope this campaign will encourage similar enthusiasm."

The soup kitchen regularly caters for up 40 homeless people each week.

The evening is also regularly supported with food donations from local catering company Green Gourmet and the general public.

To donate items for the summer backpack appeal visit one of Emmaus Gloucestershire’s five shops in Cheltenham, Stroud, Nailsworth or Gloucester from 10am to 5pm.

The shops contribute to the financial stability of the Emmaus community.

Emmaus Gloucestershire also works alongside partners across the county to alleviate the causes of homelessness.

To find out more visit emmaus.org.uk/gloucestershire