AS WINTER bites in Dorset, a Bournemouth businessman is calling on locals to support a clothing drive for homeless people.

Franchisee Kevin Old, of the Zip Yard, in Wimborne Road, is spearheading the initiative, which is backed by Bournemouth Mayor, Councillor Rod Cooper.

The company will take donated clothes and repair or alter the garments for free before taking them to the Bournemouth Clothes Bank.

Mr Old said: “We’ve been looking for a worthwhile charity to support and a lot of our customers bringing in their clothes were telling us they had bits and pieces that they weren’t wearing any more “I also run another business, Cash Generator, and we’d worked with the Bournemouth Food Bank, which also runs the clothing bank.

“They’re absolutely fantastic and it just made sense to us that we’d help them again.”

Cllr Cooper will visit the business on Tuesday to officially launch the initiative. But locals are already being invited to bring in their clothes.

“We want to start collecting straight away,” said Mr Old.

“At this time of year, the weather is really bad and there will be people having to wear the same clothes all the time.

“With the amount of rain we’ve had, lots of people are going to be in soaking wet clothes constantly.

“If people bring their old clothes in to us, we’ll make sure they find a new home with someone who really needs them.”

Debbie Bramley, who manages the food bank, said: “We will take anything and we will use everything. The need out there is so great that we appreciate any donations that come in.”

The charity is particularly looking for bedding and winter clothing.

Anyone wishing to donate can take clothing to the Zip Yard at 342 Wimborne Road, Winton.