The decorations may be packed away, but the warmth that you helped us to show to homeless individuals over the festive season will endure as they go on into the New Year.
We have received a number of wonderful photographs and comments showing just how much difference your donations make. They go far beyond letting residents of homeless schemes across the country get together, enjoy a hot meal, and receive small gifts.
One homeless individual said “I thought this Christmas would be the worst but I’ve actually had the most fun.”
At a youth foyer, for young adults in training or education, residents had fun-filled a meal out, a great reward for all of their ongoing hard work towards rebuilding their lives. You can spot them on our Facebook making good use of some toy moustaches during their meal!
50 individuals with mental health issues, who are being given support by an outreach service in Hull, were also able to get together at the Kingston Theatre Hotel and enjoy a meal. The service’s support workers have had a lot of positive feedback from the event.
One support worker explained: “Many of our residents do not have anywhere to spend Christmas or anyone to receive a present from. Your donation has meant that they had meals, activities and presents, which they said made this difficult time easier to bear.”
A number of schemes were able to use our funding to cook their own meals in-house and provide Christmas party games, crackers, and even costumes so that a willing resident could be their scheme’s Father Christmas. Residents were able to enjoy Christmas roasts with all the trimmings, snacks, treats, and buffets. One commented: “All this food is amazing! I haven’t eaten this well in ages!”
Christmas vouchers and presents left one resident in disbelief that it was all for him, “For me? Really?” And many of the individuals our funding helped were truly touched by what they received: “Christmas is a difficult and stressful time for everyone, especially people like me, so to know that you care enough to put on as good a spread as you can really lifts me up, around this time of year.”
One hostel set up a large screen in the communal room so that residents could relax with their favourite films. But they weren’t allowed to simply lounge around: an array of fun activities followed their Christmas meal, including karaoke and bingo. On Boxing Day, a spread of buffet food was set out, and Christmas movies were shown, to give everyone a more relaxing day. The residents appreciated the thought that had gone into the festivities, with one saying: “Having Christmas activities takes my mind off what I feel I miss at Christmas time.”
Finally, we want to leave you with a comment from one hostel resident that sums up how we feel about our donors throughout the year: “Thank you for being here.”