BUSINESSES across Glasgow are being urged to help heat the homeless following the coldest night of the year.

Campaigners in the city are calling on cafes and restaurants to provide rough sleepers with hot water to keep them warm throughout the day.

Outreach workers from Help the Homeless Glasgow (HtH) have purchased 50 hot water bottles with donations from the public and are looking for help to fill them.

Following the death of 28-year-old Matthew Bloomer, who was sleeping rough outside a Glasgow department store last year, the group are keen to do as much as they can ahead of further cold weather.

Evening Times:

June Baird, who volunteers with HtH, came up with the idea when temperatures plummeted below -8C.

After receiving a generous donation to kickstart the project, the group began canvassing local businesses.

June said: “We do all we can to help, through giving hot food, drinks, blankets and sleeping bags but sometimes that’s not enough to heat people up - you need a hot bath or a hot water bottle.

“On the first night we managed to fill the bottles with the help of Starbucks, Cafe Nero and Costa in the city centre which we were very grateful for.

“We’re now looking to get as many businesses on board to heat the homeless.

“We would then aim to provide them with stickers for their window to let those in need know they can go in to fill up the bottle.

“There is a lot of independent businesses who want to help which is great.

“I know there are people who think that we should just give them houses but it’s not as simple as that.

“A lot of the people we meet already have accommodation but in many cases they have complex mental health problems.

“Some still sleep on the streets because they know they can get a hot meal, if they can’t afford heating or furniture it can sometimes be the better option.

“It’s a sticky plaster on massive problem but at least it’s something.”

The group are also hoping to take their campaign to the Scottish Government in a bid to get a hot water tap in the toilets of Glasgow Central Station where many go to shower and use the toilets.

June added: “The group is non-profit and started from two friends launching a Facebook page.

“There’s 6,000 members now who are out there trying to help, whether that involves making food, trying to reach as many homeless people as possible or trying to get furniture to people who have new tenancies.”

Following the cancellation of Hamilton Academical v Kilmarnock football match on Wednesday, a post in the Help the Homeless group managed to get some of the 700 cooked pies prepared for the game to homeless organisations across the city.