HELPING THE BATTLERS: Reed and Bottcher funeral services’ (from left) Barbara Howarth, Paul Whear and Dale Wolland are digging deep to help with an intiative run by Vince Ford (right).
HELPING THE BATTLERS: Reed and Bottcher funeral services’ (from left) Barbara Howarth, Paul Whear and Dale Wolland are digging deep to help with an intiative run by Vince Ford (right). Rob Williams

Bags of generosity

THE staff at Ipswich funeral house Reed and Bottcher is used to providing a shoulder to cry on during the worst of times.

So it almost came as second nature to extend that level of compassion to the city's most disadvantaged residents, when the opportunity arrived.

The long-standing business has joined forces with homeless charity Helping Hands Queensland, which has provided food, clothing and shelter for homeless people since 2009.

Funeral consultant Barbara Howarth said she was inspired by the plight of the city's homeless after spending a night with the charity.

With winter approaching, Reed and Bottcher has started a sleeping bag donation drive with a view to keeping the homeless warm during the cold months.

"It is quite humbling to see all the people out there on the street, waiting for the Helping Hands van to arrive," Ms Howarth said.

"A lot of them are just normal people like you and me who have had bad luck."

Helping Hands chairman Vince Ford said he'd seen an increase in the number of mothers and young children who were living in cars in the suburbs.

"On a good night we'll serve 70, on a bad night we'll serve 120," he said.

The funeral home, at 63 Roderick St, has started accepting sleeping bag donations Monday to Friday during normal business hours.


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