A CHARITY that supports homeless people in York has been given a boost by The Yorkshire Mafia.

York's Carecent has taken delivery of new walking shoes, underwear and rucksacks to pass on to its disadvantaged clients across the city.

The gift, from community business organisation The Yorkshire Mafia, is the start of a year-long partnership which will see Carecent receive thousands of pounds of donations.

Carecent, which is based at Central Methodist Church in St Saviourgate, provides breakfasts, clothing and toiletries for homeless people and others in need.

Bob Procter, a member of The Yorkshire Mafia, contacted Carecent to see if the 'Ho Ho Homeless at Christmas' scheme, which saw rough sleepers in Leeds receive gift packs, could also work in York.

Carecent project leader Nicky Gladstone said: "They said the idea had had a great response in Leeds and were keen to see what they could provide in other areas - York was the next choice.

"What they were looking for was a group that could help them carry out what they are doing more effectively."

Mr Procter said: "We wanted a group on the ground to work with, we didn't just want to hand the things over.

"I came and met Nicky and saw what they do here.

"This will be the start of something that runs right through the year.

"I have seen the impact this can have.

"In Leeds we created packs with all sorts of things from toiletries to warm clothing and dog leads, but the needs here are slightly different.

"Nicky said one of the things that we always need are good quality shoes."

Mr Procter praised Go Outdoors in York for offering the group an "unbelievably good deal" on the shoes, while members have also given Carecent some cash.

The Yorkshire Mafia will provide further donations during the year.

Mr Procter said: "Over the year, our help will run into thousands of pounds.

"We were keen to make sure it wasn't just a one-off thing."

Carecent has been running for more than 30 years and now has 62 volunteers helping alongside Mrs Gladstone.

She said: "We just get given stuff and are able to pass it on. In that sense, it's a real privilege to do it."

Last week, Carecent announced its new Friends group, to secure regular income to help it continue its work.