CHARITABLE people in Wanstead “helped save at least one life” by donating clothes during last week’s cold spell, a volunteer says.

Mags Drummond, founder of Waltham Forest Feet on the Street, says people who donated gloves, hats and scarves to rough sleepers contending with the cold are “absolutely fantastic”.

The outreach officer and her team distributed food and warm clothes to homeless people in Waltham Forest during “the beast from the east”.

Now, the 57-year-old volunteer is thanking Wansteadians for their efforts after Paul Brockbank from The Manor House pub asked her if she needed support.

Ms Drummond says: “All the people who helped need an MBE. They have been absolutely fantastic. We are just so appreciative. They helped save at least one life with their donations to keep people warm.

“It was really dire last week but the people of Wanstead kept the group running in that terrible weather.”

Mr Brockbank, manager of The Manor House, got in touch with Ms Drummond after seeing an appeal on Wanstead Community Hub on Facebook.

He said: “I already do voluntary work and I thought we need to do something.”

Mr Brockbank and his team then made a Facebook appeal, which attracted “car loads” of donations to the pub, a drop off point.

The Feet on Street team handed supplies out at Christian Kitchen, which has been running for 25 years.

People also donated blankets, sleeping bags, socks and hoodies to the team. Community members from Waltham Forest ordered supplies from Amazon and delivered them to volunteers.

Seeing people homeless in freezing conditions took an emotional toll on Ms Drummond.

The 57-year-old says: “Even now I’m welling up. It’s one of the most heart-breaking things I have ever seen. I can’t believe in this day and age that such things are allowed to happen in the UK.

“I had to sit in my car, have a cry and gather my thoughts. It’s heart-breaking to see people like that.

“This situation in the UK needs to stop. We are proud of the money we send abroad and I have no issue with that but we have a lot of poverty in the UK.”

Looking to the future, Ms Drummond wants to bring different outreach organisations together to pool knowledge and resources.

She said: “I would love to set up a network of outreaches in east London and Essex so we can all learn from each other. That’s my long term solution to helping people.”

Ms Drummond, who lives in Waltham Forest, set up the outreach programme in January to make life for homeless people a little bit easier.

The team helps those in need in Waltham Forest but goes into neighbouring boroughs when required.