Home / Stories / People In East Anglia Spread Hope This Christmas
  • The Hope at Christmas appeal, launched to support people who are experiencing homelessness this winter, has seen a huge response from the public;
  • Stockings of Christmas treats, food hampers, toys, and essential items  will be donated to families and individuals who can benefit from them this Christmas;
  • It is the second Hope at Christmas campaign from charity Hopestead

People across East Anglia have given hope this Christmas by generously donating to an appeal set up to support people who are experiencing homelessness this winter.

The Hope at Christmas appeal, run by charity Hopestead, asked the public to contribute food, clothing and toy items that could be used to create hampers and gift packs. People could also make monetary donations via a JustGiving site, or purchase items from an Amazon wish list.

The response was incredible and as a result of the generosity of the public, 189 stockings of essential items and Christmas treats, as well as 101 Christmas food hampers for families and individuals have been created.

In addition, £500 has been donated to purchase fresh food for Christmas dinners, and toys and selection boxes for over 50 children have also been gifted through the appeal.

Finally, furry friends haven’t been forgotten with food, treats and toys collected for over 100 dogs.

Marie-Claire Delbrouque, CEI of Hopestead, said: “We’ve been absolutely thrilled by the fantastic response to our Hope at Christmas appeal, it has been truly inspiring to see such generosity shown by so many people.

“I am so grateful to everyone who has contributed. It has been a tough year again for so many and through this campaign, we wanted to spread a little joy, and a lot of hope.

“The donations will go directly to families and individuals who can benefit from them this Christmas.

“In whatever way we can, we want to make a difference, and thanks to the kindness of the public, we can do that this festive season. Thank you.”

It is the second year that the Hope at Christmas appeal has been run by Hopestead and this year the donations will be made to families and individuals via four charities Hopestead has partnered with:

  • The Bus Shelter Ipswich
  • FABB (Food and Beverage Buggies), Norwich
  • Sanctus Chelmsford
  • Jimmy’s in Cambridge

Carol McWhinnie from FABB (Food and Beverage Buggies), Norwich said: “Look what we can do together, with good hearts and a common cause. We’re overwhelmed by your kindness. Mums are sleeping better as they know you’ve looked after their little ones when they’re struggling too. Lonely people in hostels are touched by your acts of kindness. What’s spreading faster than Covid in Norfolk is simple kindness. Thank you all.”

Barry Griffiths, Community Engagement Officer for Jimmy’s Cambridge said:

“From all our residents supported by Jimmy’s Cambridge we want to say a great big Christmas thank you to Hopestead for their donations this year. At a difficult time of year for some of our residents receiving these gifts shows that the wider community cares and shares their kindness with us. This contributes to enhancing our support by reflecting that people we work with are not forgotten during this festive season.”

A spokesperson for The Bus Shelter Ipswich said:

“The food hampers received have put many smiles on many faces.  That little bit extra has made so much difference to those that are generally struggling with the current situations of daily life.  The generosity of others has certainly put a smile on our faces.”

A spokesperson for Sanctus Chelmsford said:

“The donation of wellbeing packs full of essentials items such as thermal socks, gloves, toiletr8ies and Christmas treats will make a real difference to those who are homeless or vulnerable in other ways this Christmas.”

With a mission to end homelessness in the East of England, Hopestead is looking ahead to more partnership working in the new year as Marie-Claire Delbrouque explained: “We believe that everyone should have a warm, safe home and to achieve this, we are working with amazing partners and organisations across the region.

“We will continue this collaborative approach as we move into 2022, and tackle the challenges ahead.

“I am so grateful to all our partners and the public who have supported us over the last year. Together, we can make a difference.”

Sandra Smith, a volunteer for Hopestead described her involvement with the campaign as: “Very humbling experience.  It’s so great to give something back and have fun at the same time.  Well done to all’.