COMFORT AND JOY: Support homeless families and single parents this Christmas

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FOR more than 100 years, Portsmouth Churches Housing Association has supported homeless families and single parents.

The initiative provides safe and secure accommodation at its three hostels, which are all close to the city centre.

Staff and residents at St Monica's House, Fratton, which is run by Portsmouth Churches Housing Association Picture: Habibur Rahman (171644-647)

Staff and residents at St Monica's House, Fratton, which is run by Portsmouth Churches Housing Association Picture: Habibur Rahman (171644-647)

And as part of The News Comfort and Joy Christmas campaign, the association is one of 11 causes set to benefit from your generosity.

You could have a real impact on the lives of its services users – simply by donating a £5 supermarket gift card.

Emma Adams, 45, has been a member of the Portsmouth Churches Housing Association housing management team for nearly 25 years.

She said: ‘We have been fortunate to be part of the campaign for the past three years. The vouchers can make a massive difference.

‘Each situation with our clients can vary – some may not be in contact with their family and may not receive any gifts.

‘And for others, with a low income, this £5 card can give them the opportunity to buy something extra special for Christmas that they would not have been able to afford.’

Based in Southsea, Fratton and Somers Town, PCHA’s hostels provide a homely environment for seven single women and 24 families.

Single clients can gain support from the association by self-referring, while vulnerable families are directed to the cause through Portsmouth City Council’s housing panel.

Many users turn to the service when they become too old for foster care, are going through stark financial difficulties, or are facing a breakdown in their relationship.

To make Christmas brighter for those people, Emma hopes city residents will get behind the Comfort and Joy campaign like they have in previous years.

She said: ‘For such a bustling city, the people of Portsmouth always seem to take the time to help those in need. £5 is not a lot of money, but it can make all the difference for someone who does not have it.’

To support PCHA, send a £5 supermarket gift voucher inside a Christmas card – in an unsealed envelope – to Deanery Office, St Faith’s Church, Crasswell Street, Portsmouth PO1 1HT.