A campaign by a local charity raising awareness of the scale of homelessness in Cornwall has inspired Camborne based IT specialists, Focus Technology, to take action.

St Petroc’s Society’s recent campaign to End Street Homelessness in Cornwall has helped highlight the fact the Duchy has the third-highest instance of rough sleeping in the country, behind Westminster and Brighton, with a 52 per cent rise in people found sleeping rough in the past year.

The campaign uses the social media hashtag ‘It’s Time To Act’ and the team at Focus are answering the call by setting up a Donation Station at their offices in Tolvaddon. Unwanted Christmas gifts taken to the office will be donated to help the homeless.

The move is one of many initiatives staff at the firm have put forward, having decided to adopt St Petroc’s Society as their charity of the year for 2018. Other ideas range from donating the proceeds from recycled IT hardware, to delivering basic computer skills workshops to help improve employment prospects.

Managing director, Andrew Davenport, said: “We have supported St Petroc’s annual Sleep Out events at the Eden Project for the past three years and have gotten to know some of the staff and volunteers. We have been both moved and inspired by their work and the lasting positive impact it can have.

"We have also come to appreciate just how easy it could be for any one of us to become homeless, given the right set of unfortunate events or circumstances."

He added: "Following November’s Sleep Out when a number of us had the opportunity to speak to one of St Petroc’s outreach workers, members of the team suggested we increase our commitment to St Petroc’s cause and came up with a number of ways in which we could do so.

"One of those was to turn the office into a Donation Station for unwanted Christmas gifts. It’s a very simple idea, but it could have a great impact simply by gathering donations of new items that are commonly discarded or put at the back of a cupboard but are desperately needed."

The Focus team are particularly interested in receiving donations of unwanted toiletries, underwear, bedding, shoes and clothes, or of tinned or dried foodstuffs and ask that bedding and items of clothing are clean.

Donations of old or faulty computers and other hardware are also welcomed as these can either be refurbished or recycled and the proceeds passed on to St Petroc’s. Donations of computer monitors and TVs cannot be accepted, due to charges associated with their recycling.

The Focus offices can be found at Unit 3, Wheal Agar, Tolvaddon Energy Park, Camborne, TR14 0HX.