Portsmouth thanked for 'overwhelming' response to Christmas campaign for the vulnerable

With just one week to go until charities will receive thousands of pounds to help the most vulnerable in our region as part of The News Comfort and Joy Campaign, the vicar of St Mary’s Church, Fratton, has said the sense of generosity is ‘overwhelming’.

Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 4:52 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th December 2019, 4:19 pm
Father Bob White at St Mary's Church, Fratton Picture: Habibur Rahman

The Rev Canon Bob White, who is running Churches Homeless Action campaign in partnership with The News, said he is looking forward to the carol service next Friday where £5 supermarket vouchers will be handed to 11 charities.

‘We seem to be having a good response with the vouchers,’ said Father Bob.

‘We have had retiring collections at our most recent services, as well as The News Carol Service last Sunday, and I think we have raised between £400 to £500 from them.’

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The News Comfort and Joy Campaign, which launched at the end of November, is asking the public to donate £5 supermarket vouchers and post them in letterboxes in Tesco Fratton, Cosham, Fareham, Crasswell Street Portsmouth and North Harbour.

The supermarket vouchers, which will be collected on December 17, will be taken to St Mary's Church for the special carol service next Friday where the grant total will be revealed. The vouchers will then be given to representatives from each of the 11 charities including The LifeHouse, Stop Domestic Abuse, Friends Without Borders, The Roberts Centre and many more.

Father Bob said: ‘It's good to raise the profiles of these charities to highlight the great work that they do in the city.

‘The generosity of the public is often overwhelming and I’m confident the response will be as good as it always has been.

‘It's important to let those who have had a difficult time know that we are thinking about them at Christmas.’

With one week to go, you can still get involved with the campaign by buying a £5 supermarket voucher and either dropping it into the designated Tesco stores or bring or send them to the Deanery Office, St Faith's Church, Crasswell Street before December 17.


Tesco stores in Fratton, Cosham, Fareham and Crasswell Street, Portsmouth, have taken in The News Comfort and Joy Christmas campaign letterboxes so members of public can post their £5 vouchers.

The News Comfort and Joy Campaign, which launched at the end of November, works in partnership with Churches Homeless Action to provide gift vouchers for the city’s most vulnerable individuals at Christmas.

The campaign will benefit 11 local charities who support those who are homeless, recovering from addiction, victims of domestic abuse, seeking asylum and struggling families.

Those charities are:

- Catherine Booth House (The Salvation Army): Providing support for homeless families – (023) 9273 6544

- Friends Without Borders: Support for asylum seekers whilst their applications are processed – (023) 9283 9222

- Hope House (Two Saints): Provides night beds for rough sleepers – 01329 234600

- Portsmouth Churches Housing Association: Runs three hostels for the homeless young families and single women – (023) 9229 7877

- Portsmouth Foyer and All Saints Hostel (Two Saints): Supported accommodation for young people – (023) 9236 0001

- The Roberts Centre: Supports over 1000 families in the Portsmouth area – (023) 9229 6919

- Society of St James: Outreach work with homeless people not engaging with other services and a day centre – (023) 9286 1423

- Stop Domestic Abuse: Provides emergency respite for women and children – (023) 9248 0246

- St Simon’s Church: Provides Sunday suppers and support for homeless people – (023) 9282 9440

- Two Saints: For homeless people in Fareham, Gosport, Havant and Portsmouth – 01329 234600

- The LifeHouse: A drop-in for people whose lives are affected by homelessness and addiction, offering hot meals and clothing – 07713 198 045

To get involved, simply buy a Christmas card and write a message – but do not put your name or address.

Purchase a £5 supermarket gift card and put it into the card, but do not seal the envelope.

Then, place in a large envelope (seal this one) and place in a Tesco store post box or send to Deanery Office, St Faith's Church, Crasswell Street, Portsmouth, PO1 1HT to arrive before December 17.

The letterboxes will also be in stores until December 17 and then will be handed to the eleven charities at a carol service at St Mary’s Church, Fratton, on December 20.