Canberra Urban Honey and Hotel Realm team up to help the homeless
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Canberra Urban Honey and Hotel Realm team up to help the homeless

Canberra Urban Honey and Hotel Realm have teamed up to help those sleeping rough keep warmer through the winter months.

With a rooftop apiary on top of the Barton hotel, beekeeper Mitchell Pearce and Carlos Palma from Hotel Realm devised a plan to use honey to make a difference in the community.

Carlo Palma, from Hotel Realm, Samara Gentle, from St Vinnies, and Carmen Pearce-Brown, from Canberra Urban Honey.

Carlo Palma, from Hotel Realm, Samara Gentle, from St Vinnies, and Carmen Pearce-Brown, from Canberra Urban Honey.Credit:Jil Hogan

Pearce donated palets of honey, and then Realm sold it through the mini bar in hotel rooms.

"We accommodate people in this five star hotel, but some people are not so lucky every night where they lay their heads," said Palma.

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Overall, they raised more than $3000, which was used to purchase warm socks, gloves, jumpers, blankets and swags to donate to St Vinnie's. Generous discounts from Adrenaline Sports in Fyshwick and Pacific Brands saw their funds stretch even further.

Samara Gentle from St Vinnie's said the sizeable donation should be able to get them through the rest of winter.

"These sorts of donations probably only last us four to five weeks - so it definitely shows that they're highly needed, particularly in winter. Things like socks and gloves, just so people are comfortable while they're sleeping rough, is really really important," she said.

"There's definitely a spike when we see bad weather and then after the wet weather when people's gear gets wet and ruined, then they come and they're kind of seeking those replacement items because if you don't live in a home you can't wash and dry so it's really difficult."

The donated goods went straight into the Vinnie's night patrol van to reach those most in need.

Jil Hogan is an food and lifestyle reporter at The Canberra Times.

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