A SELFLESS woman moved by the plight of the homeless has launched a new campaign to help those living on the streets of Swindon.

Rachel Tucker, 40, from Toothill, has vowed to do all she can to end homelessness once and for all.

It follows a fraught and emotional period in which her own son has been faced with the possibility of having to spend life on the streets, something a determined and passionate Rachel has vowed to prevent at all costs.

After the successful launch of her Facebook campaign Swindon Homeless Helping Hands a few weeks ago, Rachel and her daughter Gemma have been pounding the streets day and night giving warm clothes and hot snacks to as many rough sleepers as possible.

Explaining how it all started, Rachel said: “I was walking through Swindon and I saw a man sitting by a doorway with blue fingers, so I went to get something warm for him.

“From there, I took it upon myself to go hunting around the town for rough sleepers to buy them a hot drink.”

As a result of her generosity, Rachel is in constant need of warm items such as duvets, sleeping bags, gloves and hats to give to those less fortunate.

People have been donating items in their droves, but Rachel and her small band of helpers are always in need of extras.

They are also keen for people to tell the team the precise locations at which homeless people are sleeping, in order for them to hot-foot it over to give them donations.

Speaking about the issue of homelessness more generally, a clearly concerned Rachel said: “Everybody treats homeless people like they have got leprosy or something. They treat them like dirt.

“But just because you’re sleeping rough doesn’t mean you have done anything wrong. People tend to put them all in one basket and just assume they are all on drugs or something, but some of the stories you hear are absolutely heart-breaking.”

Rachel was able to empathise more intently with the downtrodden due to personal experiences, and she was genuinely hurt to hear that nobody wanted to talk to them or care for them.

With passion, she said: “Homelessness is not an illness, it’s something that can happen to anybody. We are all just a couple of missed wages away from being on the streets.”

People are being encouraged to help with the campaign, not just over Christmas but until all the town’s rough sleepers are fed and clothed.

To help, search for Swindon Homeless Helping Hands on Facebook.