Craig and friends take to the streets

Craig Hull.
Craig Hull.

Lurgan man Craig Hull and his friends took to the streets of Belfast on Christmas Eve to spread some goodwill.

Craig (29) and his friends Craig and Adam Chapman loaded up with food parcels and made the trip to the big smoke to feed those living on the streets there.

Craig, a self-employed painter and decorator, explained: “I’ve been doing Cash for Kids for years through Cool FM. This year, as well as that, I decided I was going to do something myself. When the weather got quite bad that’s when I thought about going down to Belfast to bring food to homeless people.

“Can you imagine living outdoors in that sort of weather with nothing but a bit of cardboard between you and the street?”

He continued: “Coming up to Christmas I put a status up on Facebook seeing if anyone wanted to join me in going down to Belfast and giving out food to homeless people. Craig and Adam said they’d be up for going down and other people also donated food. Johnny Mercer from Mourneview Community Association gave us some stuff.

“We should probably have planned it a bit better, started a bit earlier rather than putting everything together last minute.

“We went out and bought a load of food and together with the food that had been donated, we made it into packs of sandwiches, crisps and drinks. We filled the boot and I drove down on Christmas Eve.

“We were told that a lot of homeless people gathered around McDonald’s on Royal Avenue on Christmas Eve, so I parked near there. There were a few people about but we’d still lots of stuff left so we kept on walking the streets.

“We still had some food left so I got in contact with a men’s hostel and we left off the rest of the food there.”

He added: “I was pretty shocked by how many people were living rough. It was virtually all men. They were in their early twenties right up until their fifties.

“They were very grateful of the food as you’d expect. Some church groups were out as well handing out food packages. Most of them accepted the food, but some of them had already been fed.”