Who Are We?

Barnsley Starter Packs is affiliated to Church Action on Poverty in Barnsley. We are dedicated to helping vulnerable people on their journey out of homelessness and into settled, independent accommodation. We are staffed by volunteers and receive no statutory financial support. We rely on generous donations from members of the public who wish to help eradicate street homelessness.


In these tough economic times the truth is that many of us are only ‘two pay packets away from homelessness’. Thankfully, most of us will never experience the stark reality of having no where to call home.  But, for those who have lost everything, getting back on your feet takes a lot more than simply putting a roof over your head.

Many properties, including those from ‘social landlords’ like Berneslai Homes are let completely unfurnished – which for someone with absolutely nothing at all can be overwhelming. The prospect of returning to an empty house, without a bed to sleep on, a kettle to make a drink – or even a cup to drink it from causes tenancies to fail, and contributes to people to becoming trapped in the ‘revolving door of homelessness’.

We are committed to providing practical support to help people out of homelessness – and on with their lives.


We provide a ‘Starter Pack’ of essential household items to former homeless people moving into settled accommodation in the BMBC area. A Starter Pack contains a mix of new items, and good quality recycled items – because we are also passionate about eradicating waste!

Each pack can contain the following goods:

  • A new duvet and pillows
  • A new electric kettle and toaster
  • pans, crockery and cutlery
  • cleaning products, personal hygiene items and tea, coffee and sugar to make a hot drink.

We often receive donations of curtains, bedding and towels which can be collected alongside the Starter Pack when available. We call this our ‘treats table’ and encourage referrers to collect something to make the recipients house more comfortable.

Starter Packs – a hand up – not a hand out.

new referral

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The Starter Packs that we make are freely distributed to people in need.  We believe in giving people a hand up, not a hand out.

As Starter Packs are a limited resource, they are:

  • Only available to homeless clients embarking on a new tenancy or planned programme of housing support and who have moved from temporary or unstable accommodation
  • Only available as an emergency provision, as and when supplies permit

Pack Collection

  • If a pack is approved, it must be collected only by the Referrer between 9:30 and 11:00 on Friday, from our centre in Smithies (please don’t bring the recipient)
  • Social distancing guidelines MUST be followed including the wearing of a mask
  • no collection will mean a new application has to be made


  • deadline for new referrals: 5pm Wednesdays

Contact Us

If you would like to volunteer to help the project please get in touch.

If you run a local service, community group or other activities that you feel would be appropriate to those who receive our help, please contact us to discuss how you can advertise your service as part the information we place in each Starter Pack.

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