Comfort and Joy: Families in hostel will have Christmas brightened up through kind public voucher donations

FAMILIES being supported through homelessness will see the festive season brightened up by gift vouchers donated by the community.

Wednesday, 16th December 2020, 5:03 pm
Families at Catherine Booth House will be grateful to receive vouchers from the Comfort and Joy campaign. Left is Chyna Todd and her children, right is Sophie Walker and her family

Catherine Booth House, run by the Salvation Army in Southsea, is home to 21 families who will benefit from public kindness over the Christmas period.

The charity is one of the benefactors of this year’s Comfort and Joy campaign, backed by The News, which encourages people to donate a small amount for a gift voucher to be handed out to those who need it.

Chyna Todd, who lives in Catherine Booth House, said: ‘It is really kind and helpful of people, especially strangers, to give these at Christmas time. Thank you.’

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Fellow resident Sophie Walker said: ‘This is a really good idea, we are all trying to get our own place and trying to get our stuff together.

‘Thank you and it’s really nice to see there are people out there that want to help.’

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All the families at the accommodation block in St Paul’s Road live in their own flat but they have all been deemed as homeless with high support needs.

Staff and volunteers provide support to help them thrive and be able to move out and live independently.

This year, the Comfort and Joy campaign also focuses on reducing isolation and making sure people reach out to neighbours and friends who might be feeling lonely during this season.

Gillian Suckley, service manager, said: ‘This year has been really hard. I think one of the hardest things is around loneliness due to isolation.

‘Usually we would have a party for Christmas and do a meal for them but we can’t do that this year.’

To keep the festive feeling alive for those living in the flats this Christmas, staff have arranged for photo opportunities with a life-size cutout of Father Christmas alongside gifts to give them a boost.

Gillian added: ‘I would just like to say a big thank you to all involved in the collection and donating, it hasn’t been an easy year for anybody this year and it is really lovely to see that people are caring and generous at such a time.

‘The vouchers will help our families financially to be able to buy some special Christmas treats but also to know there are lots of people who really do care!’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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