Sammy Barcroft and Joanne Vines created The Rucksack Project which collects bags full of essential goods for the homeless. As if that wasn’t charitable enough, joanne and Sammy took a double-decker bus and converted 72 seats to 12 beds for the homeless in the UK. Amazingly, one of those offers was from the bus company Stagecoach. They had a twenty-year-old bus that was going to head to the scrap yard but decided to donate it to their philanthropic cause instead. It was a Volvo Olympian double-decker bus“ I parked it up in Fareham near me, and then put a plea out like DIY SOS to fit a kitchen, bunk beds etc,” Joanne said.
It wasn’t long before Joanne and Sammy had up to 80 volunteers willing to help with the transformation of the bus. They also raised over $8,000 through donations and crowdfunding. Thankfully, a college in the area offered to make and donate bunk beds for the unique homeless shelter. The local housing association donated the fully functioning kitchen, and both an electrician and plumber donated their services as well.
The entire project took approximately eight months to complete and will be stationed at a church in Portsmouth, England where it will be a part of their Robert Dolling Project.
Their goal is to provide services and necessities to the homeless.“Portsmouth is a community town they have always embraced the Rucksack Project so I rode it on the back of that and had a great response,” Joanne said. The double-decker shelter at St. Agatha’s Church will help provide a warm night’s sleep for some of the 300,000 homeless people in the UK.
After all of the work and donations, the project has an estimated valued worth of more than $33,000. The completion of the project has left Joanne with bittersweet emotions. It’s absolutely incredible and inspiring to see what happens when people’s generosity and compassion shines through.