A kind-hearted campaigner left items of clothing tied to posts for homeless people in Swansea – only for them to be removed by staff at a shopping centre.
Charity shop owner Vicki Jones, 46, put clothes, as well hats, gloves and scarves, in spots across the city for the homeless to pick up.
She left the items with a note which read: ‘If you need me take me! Please don’t steal me! From The Community Cwtch (charity shop) in Gowerton in aid of The Autism Directory’.
But she was shocked when staff took down a fleece and a raincoat she had a left at the city’s Quadrant shopping centre.
Staff insisted the clothes had been removed for ‘customers’ safety’.
Vicki Jones, 46, left warm items of clothing around Swansea for homeless people to pick up
A fleece and a raincoat she left inside the Quadrant shopping centre (pictured) were removed by staff over concerns about ‘customers’ safety’
Vicki Jones, a charity shop owner, had left the clothes around the city for the homeless
Ms Jones and volunteer Kirsty Hanson, from The Community Cwtch in Gowerton, had left the items in the Quadrant under a glass canopy between New Look and Accessorize.
‘A man came and cut them down’, she said.
She later received a call from the shopping centre explaining they had been taken down as they were worried about security.
She added: ‘I was driving back over Mount Pleasant when they called me. They said they had taken them down as we hadn’t asked for permission from the Quadrant management.
‘He said with everything that’s going on in the world, they needed to know what was going on as they couldn’t be too careful.
‘I was so shocked.
Ms Jones left the clothes and items with notes saying ‘if you need me, take me…please don’t steal me’
Items of clothing were left across Swansea for people living on the streets to collect
‘I just felt a little disappointed that they couldn’t enter the spirit of helping the homeless with the run-up to Christmas and a particularly cold spell on its way.’
A spokeswoman for the Quadrant said: ‘Vicki Jones is inspiring and we fully support the work she has been doing to help the homeless across the city.
‘Our security team were unaware of the charity initiative Vicki was delivering at the time, and as customers’ safety is our primary objective the garments were taken down and will now be handed on to a homeless charity.’
Vicki Jones tried to help those in need by tying clothes such as hats, gloves and scarves to posts in Swansea
It comes as Shelter Cymru revealed how more than 750 families in Wales will be homeless this Christmas.
They welcomed Ms Jones’ initiative to help those living on the streets.
A spokesman said: ‘It’s important and necessary at this time of year that we ensure that street homeless people are kept warm, and acts of kindness such as leaving clothing and toiletries are essential to their general well being.
‘However it does not solve the problem of homelessness and we urge people to campaign with us to lobby politicians for the building of more affordable homes and to ensure that social housing providers give homeless people a roof over their heads and stop people becoming homeless in the first place.’