Comfort and Joy: Vouchers from community will be the 'rainbow' for homeless people this Christmas
ORDINARY people doing extraordinary things will be a rainbow to those in need this Christmas, according to a charity boss.
Families supported by the Roberts Centre in Portsmouth will be the lucky recipients of a share of vouchers donated by the public to the Comfort and Joy campaign.
The Roberts Centre helps families across Portsmouth, Havant and Gosport who are homeless or struggling to improve circumstances for their family.
Carole Damper, chief executive of the charity, said: ‘Since Churches Homeless Action set up the voucher scheme we have been fortunate enough to be beneficiaries. It has made a world of difference.
‘Nobody needs to help someone else but the fact that they want to help someone else is incredibly inspiring.
‘We’re very lucky at the Roberts Centre because we get to give out the gifts. The people who donate them don’t get that opportunity but people need to know they might be the rainbow for somebody.’
This year, the festive giving campaign backed by The News has expanded to include the encouragement for people to reach out to friends and neighbours who might be on their own this Christmas.
Carole added: ‘The idea that people might send a card to someone in their street or a friend or neighbour is lovely.
‘Everybody suffered this year in one way or another, whether it’s through anxiety or worrying about their job. For so many people it must be such a scary time - out of adversity comes an enormous sense of goodness.’
Hard circumstances caused by the pandemic including lost jobs, redundancies, closed businesses and more have meant even more families will be homeless this Christmas.
Carole and her team at the Roberts Centre have worked hard throughout this year to continue to support families through the tough times.
Carole said: ‘Like everyone else, we have had to adapt and find different ways of working. The biggest issue is the amount of people who have been made homeless.
‘We have expanded our work because there are so many more homeless families. Places like the Roberts Centre shouldn’t really exist. It’s not a great thing to say we’re expanding our work but we have and like everyone else we’re crossing our fingers and toes for the future.’