Social Value: Crisp Packet Project

Posted 13th March 2024

The Crisp Packet Project is a small community of volunteers in Hastings that makes and supplies survival items for the homeless. It started in November 2019 by Pen Huston after her time volunteering with another local charity called Surviving the Streets UK. She found that working with that charity, they were running out of sleeping bags. That’s when one day she came up with the idea of using crisp packets. From there she has grown CPP using social media which has attracted a lot of attention from different communities, news outlets and more.


SO  what does a CPP Survival kits consist of?

  • Survival sheet/blanket (44 to 75 crisp packets)
  • CPP Bivi Sleeping Bag (135 to 150 cp)
  • Draw string bag (16cp)
  • Wash kit bag (3 cp) which also includes tooth paste, tooth brush, hat, gloves, socks, handwarmers.
  • Poncho made from landfill plastic
  • Pillow (12 cp)
  • Torso mat (20 cp)


Last week, Marnie and Lidia spent the day volunteering with CPP making blankets for the kits. We joined a team from Balfour Beatty, Matt, Fiona and Natalie, and spent the day on different tasks to get the process moving.

We started by untangling the plastic bags and cutting the ends that was sealed. These were to be used at a later stage of the process to protect and seal the crisp packets blankets.



A couple of us where on the tables, using the iron to seal the packets together. We had a row of 4 opened packets side by side, we would take another row and fuse it to the bottom of the top row, making sure they overlapped. We did this until we had four rows sealed together. Once we have a 4 x 4 sheets, we flipped them over and sprayed them down for a clean, and placed them to the side to dry.



Once we had enough sheets laid out, we then proceeded to the next step of sealing 3 sheets together to create the blanket. Again, we overlapped the sheets to fuse them together with the iron.


To finish of the blankets, we needed to seal them into the larger plastic bags. We take the bags we prepped earlier and lay them open across the table, place the crisp packet blanket sheet inside and start to even out the sides. There would be one side all in line, and the other will need adjusting, whether that meant adding more crisp packets or cutting to straighten it out. We closed the plastic bag over the blanket and using the iron, we sealed 6 areas across the sheet, flipped it over and repeated the fusing. This holds the blanket in place so we’re able to put it through the heat press. Then we’re done!



The day ended with us making around 24 blankets. It was great meeting both Pen and Adi and seeing what so many volunteers do to help the homeless.


How long do these items last?

This depends on how well you make them. They are very strong, and if looked after well, will last you a long time. It’s known that some of the first items made are still being used now. If any items do become damaged, they can be repaired and replaced.


How do they work?

The crisp packets silver side reflects your heat back into your body.


How do I get involved?

You can get involved by collecting or making these life saving items with your local community. Have a look on Facebook to see if there’s a local CPP Group that you can get involved with. Start a crisp collection box in your school or for more information, you can visit the Q&A  page on the Crisp Packet Project website.


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