Hallglen woman's heartwarming flask appeal to help homeless

A kindhearted Hallglen woman has launched an appeal to help homeless people keep warm during the cold winter months.

Lorna Mcalpine (45) started the ‘Ask for a Flask’ campaign at the end of November after finding some old flasks while clearing out her kitchen cupboards.

Pondering how they could be put to good use, she came up with the idea of donating them to the homeless.

She said: “I contacted the Salvation Army in Falkirk and spoke to Campbell McDermid who runs the drop in centre there for homeless people and he said he would be more than happy to help.

“We talked about how we could help people on a bigger scale and decided the best way would be through social media.

“I went home that day and set up the #ASKFORAFLASK Facebook page and within just four hours it had 1600 followers!”

Lorna started posting on the page about how people could donate flasks or money through Paypal for the appeal and was soon inundated with messages.

“It’s really heartwarming how many people want to help. Lots of my friends offered to print posters and put them up in shops and businesses and we now have more than 2600 followers on the Facebook page which is just fantastic.”

Through the appeal, Lorna has helped 600 homeless people so far and has been successful in gaining support from a number of local businesses who have offered their premises for use as free refill points for people to go to to top up their flasks.

She has also helped hundreds of people outwith the area by donating flasks to homeless charity Social Bite.

Flasks can be topped up at the Salvation Army, Behind the Wall, High Spirits, Coasters Cafe, The Shore in Carronshore, Tesco Camelon, the Dawson Centre, Bainsford, The Fork and Mustard on Glebe Street, The Bluebell in Bainsford, Rainbow House in Grangemouth and Stephen’s Kitchen in Callendar Square.

The appeal has become so successful that civil servant Lorna is now looking into the possibility of setting it up as a charity.

“We’ve connected with local foodbanks too and linking in with other charities and organisations and I’m planning to buy more flasks with the donation money to put in the refill places so people know they can pick up a flask there as well as top them up there. I’ve also got plans to do some fundraising including a raffle and a coffee morning.

Lorna said she is grateful to everyone who has supported the appeal so far.

“Obviously we started this over the festive period when the Christmas spirit was alive but we want to build on that and keep the appeal going so we can help as many people as possible.

“I would like to thank everyone who has so far helped or donated and also say a special thank you to Campbell for all his assistance.”

Any local business which would like their premises to be listed as a refill point are asked to message Laura through the #ASKFORAFLASK Facebook page.