HOMELESS people and veterans across Fife have been overwhelmed by the generosity of a Cowdenbeath-based charity.

Knights Templar Goodwill Charity of Scotland have worked tirelessly over the festive period donating essential items to those without a home.

Gary Stevenson is one of five trustees from the group - which received charitable status in May last year -, and he told the Times that between December 2021 and 2022, they were able to distribute more than 1,000 care packages to those in need in Central Fife and other areas across Scotland.

Each distinctive red drawstring bag they hand out contains as many as 15 items, including food, water, tissues, foil blankets, gloves, hats, soaps, wipes and more.

A veteran himself, Gary remarked that the people they have helped have been "blown away" by the helping hand.

He said: "They ask us, 'Why are you helping us?'

"A couple of our trustees have been in that same situation, and that's why we're helping.

"They love the care packages we give out. It's a game-changer for them.

"It was quite a shock and disappointing for us that some of the guys we helped last time were still on the streets to receive our help again.

"They had recognised us and welcomed the packages from us. It's sad to see the same faces.

"As I said, a couple of our trustees were in the armed forces and they left and came out with nothing.

"They ended up homeless themselves. They were couch-surfing, ending up on the streets.

"We know what these guys are going through. That's why we want to help them. We can sympathise.

"It is hard. It is horrible. There's nothing worse than being on the streets.

"For us, we need them to know that people do still care about them. That's huge for us.

"They feel ignored and pushed aside. They feel cast aside and forgotten.

"At the end of the day, they are still human-beings that need loved. They need that break, and we are there to try and give them that.

"It is sickening to see so many people living like this. It really angers us.

"In the case of our veterans; they have fought for our country and to protect us, and yet this is how they are treated?"