1. ITV Report

Newcastle Cathedral inundated with donations after offering homeless people shelter from winter weather

Photo: Hugh Macknight/PA Archive/PA Images

A cathedral which has opened its doors so that homeless people can take shelter from the 'Beast from the East' has been completely inundated with donations of sleeping bags, duvets and blankets.

The alters of St Nicholas' Cathedral in Newcastle city centre are piled high with bedding while clothing and other donations lay in the aisles.

Venerable Geoff Miller, acting Dean of Newcastle, said: "If you have been in Newcastle long enough you will know that Geordies are generous people, and this proves it yet again.

"There is a lot of goodwill around. It moved me to tears to see one of our alters just covered in bedding because people have turned up and said, 'We do not know what to do, would this be any use?', and you just think, wow, aren't people great."

The Cathedral has appealed for donations of clothing and bedding to be made and on Friday night allowed Newcastle's homeless to sleep among its pews while the freezing weather makes living on the streets potentially lethal.

On Friday, volunteers also dished out hot plates of spaghetti bolognese to those in need of a meal.

Liz Jenkins, of North East Homeless, said: "Having the opportunity to work with the charities that are supporting this is a God send.

"The cathedral has opened its doors and the number of donations we have got is fantastic and it does give a roof over their head for all the people who really need it."

A homeless man known as Dwaine, who has been sleeping in a tent during this week's freezing weather, said: "I went back down to the quayside today because I did not sleep well last night and I have had about four hours or so.

"But half my sleeping bag is iced."

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