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After a busy few weeks collecting everyone’s generous donations, our Hope at Christmas 2020 appeal has drawn to a close.  This appeal is just one step towards achieving our overall goal of ending homelessness in the East of England.  We partnered with six likeminded charities and grassroots organisations already working hard to eradicate homelessness to make a difference this winter and to ensure everyone has a place to call home.

We have been overwhelmed by the generosity and engagement from you and thank you for your kind donations.  Every donation makes a real difference.  The Hopestead Team alongside a fantastic group of volunteers have divided and distributed the donations to: –

  • FABB (Food and Beverage Buggies), Norwich

25 Christmas gift packs of toiletries and sweet treats, 25 Christmas cards and Greggs vouchers were donated to individuals living in hostels across Norwich and surrounding areas Thanks to everyone’s generosity, we provided enough donations to Food And Beverage Buggies (FABB) to enable them to cook meals 3 times a day well into 2021.  FABB said “We are totally amazed.  We’ll have stock well into next year.  We cannot express our gratitude enough!!” 

  • The People’s Picnic, Norwich

Sleeping bags, warm clothing, thermal items, and food containers were amongst the items donated to The People’s Picnic.  They provide hot wholesome meals and other essentials to those experiencing or on the brink of homelessness.  We donated £300 towards their new van purchase, enabling them to continue their vital work in Norwich distributing warm clothing, sleeping bags and meals.

  • Ipswich Winter Night Shelter

We donated £500 to Ipswich Winter Night Shelter to help themprovide food and resources for their night shelter guests this winter.  They provide breakfast, lunch and a home cooked, two course, evening meal every day.  Every guest is provided with new pyjamas and slippers.  Some of their guests have not eaten properly for months when they join the shelter.  Having meals, drinks and snacks plus clean pyjamas and slippers makes a huge difference.  Ipswich Winter Night Shelter said “Thank you SO much for all you have done to support us!”

  • Winter Comfort for the Homeless, Cambridge

A £500 donation was made to Winter Comforts supporting people experiencing homelessness in Cambridge.  This enables them to support the rising costs of service delivery and the changes they have made to support the community as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Winter Comforts focuses on moving people out of homelessness via long-term support with housing, employment, education, and training and they also offer extensive support with counselling and substance addiction.  Along with the financial donation we were able to provide thermal clothing, flasks, gloves, scarves, and hand warmers.  Winter Comfort said “Wow wow wow!!!  You amazing people!  Thank you so much for your incredible donation.  We are so grateful for your support.”

  • Street Vets

Street Vets deliver free veterinary care to pet owners who are experiencing homelessness.  A core committee of volunteers are highly dedicated to keeping Street Vet Norwich running and continuing their great work.  We donated a range of pet food, treats, toys, blankets, hi-visibility coats and collars, enabling them to care for our furry friends this winter.

  • Salvation Army

The Salvation Army received donations of food, treats, toys and toiletries to distribute to those who are suffering the most and bring joy and hope into their lives this Christmas.  The Salvation Army are completely dependent upon our generosity, especially in such difficult times and receiving record numbers of requests for help. Barry Wilson Coordinator of Norfolk Toys and Tins appeal said ‘While we were unloading your van we had a social worker sorting out Christmas hampers and gifts for 8 families living locally’.

Thanks to the sheer volume of donations we received, we were able to donate a further 25 Christmas gift packs to those currently residing at a Norwich hostel run by St Martins.  The Christmas packs included toiletries, sweet treats and a Christmas card to spread festive joy.  We were also able to donate 200 facemasks to Emmaus and their companions.

We want to take the opportunity to thank our amazing volunteers.  They were “delighted to be able to support Hopestead.. There was a great sense of togetherness amongst all volunteers as we worked towards our shared goal, to end homelessness in the East of England.

It was incredible to see so many Flagship Group colleagues and members of the public giving so generously, to support our chosen 6 local charities.

Thank you to everyone who supported, donated and helped organise this outstanding campaign.”

This campaign has been a huge success and has already made a positive impact across the East of England.  We are grateful to everyone who supported us, donated, and volunteered.  We look forward to continuing this great work in 2021 and beyond.