Homeless given something to cheer about as Christmas appeal launched

THEY want to put a smile on faces for the homeless who have nothing to look forward to this Christmas.

Thursday, 5th December 2019, 11:52 am
Updated Friday, 6th December 2019, 3:40 pm

The Society of St James (SSJ) Christmas appeal hopes to raise £5,000 to make a difference to those in need.

The Hampshire charity will offer Christmas meals and gifts to residents to help them feel part of the festive season.

SSJ will also be providing accommodation for 65 people in Portsmouth and running an emergency night service housing an extra 40 homeless per night. People will also be able to access the homeless day centre during the day for meals, help and advice.

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Trevor Pickup, chief executive of The Society of St James.

The picture is looking bleak for homeless this Christmas with the Met Office already predicting wide-spread frost throughout December with rain also forecast in the run-up to the festive period, making it a miserable time for those most affected by the weather.

Trevor Pickup, chief executive, said: ‘SSJ is going to be housing over 100 people in Portsmouth this winter. We are asking the community to support our appeal so that we can offer just a bit more over this festive period.

‘We really appreciate the support we get from schools, businesses and local people which has such an impact in the city.

‘While many people are out in the city enjoying themselves, we hope to provide something to help our service users to enjoy Christmas.’

The charity supports over 5,000 vulnerable people across Hampshire – many of whom suffer significant hardship over Christmas and the winter months.

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In its Christmas appeal SSJ states: ‘The festive period can be a very difficult time for those accessing our services and we are often the only support network they have.

‘This includes those suffering from or at risk of homelessness, domestic violence, drug and alcohol addictions, mental health issues and learning difficulties.

‘You only need to take a walk outside to know that winter is here – and with that in mind, we have launched our Christmas Campaign to help those who are most vulnerable this winter.’