AN appeal has been launched by big-hearted community activists to help the homeless and vulnerable this winter.

The Saleem Foundation, which helps disadvantaged people across the Black Country, has launched its first ever Winter Warmer appeal to ensure homeless people are given the help they need when the cold weather hits.

The Foundation is calling on people to donate much-needed items such as blankets, scarves, gloves, hats and hot drink sachets in the run up to Christmas.

Donations are being collected until December 1, before they will be distributed to those in need at a special event at Champions Church in Brierley Hill on December 10.

The Winter Warmer appeal is the first Christmas appeal the Foundation has launched, following the success of the United Hands project in October which saw hundreds of care packages donated to vulnerable people around the borough.

Shaz Saleem, who founded the organisation, said: "We wanted to do this a follow up to the United Hands project we ran a couple months ago.

"We held a launch event at Ham Dingle Primary School where people donated over 100 items, the parents and staff were amazing."

Donations can be made by dropping items off at the Express Taxis offices on Dudley Road in Halesowen, or a pick-up service can be arranged.