Community rallies to help homeless

Chatsmore Catholic High School pupils with their cupcakes
Chatsmore Catholic High School pupils with their cupcakes

BUSINESS, schools and individuals pulled out all the stops to support homeless people this Christmas.

Donations to Worthing Churches Homeless Projects included warm clothes and sleeping bags from Symmonds and Reading estate agents and festive cakes from Chatsmore Catholic High School.

Worthing mayor Michael Donin with breakfast club volunteers at St Clare's Day Centre

Worthing mayor Michael Donin with breakfast club volunteers at St Clare's Day Centre

Over the Christmas period, 58 people were fed in the charity’s hostels each night and around 20 people had lunch at St Clare’s Day Centre in Worthing on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. There was also a Christmas meal at the Littlehampton Breakfast Club.

Rachel Blair, community fundraiser, said: “These gifts from local companies and schools make all the difference at this time of year.

“We are able to give each client a Christmas gift bag only because of the donations the community so generously give.

“The coats and jumpers are much needed as even with the night shelter running, if people are out and about in the day they need warm, dry layers.

“It is very humbling to see how generous people can be, not just at Christmas but throughout the year, and we really are so grateful.”

Staff at Symmonds and Reading, in Chatsworth Road, encouraged customers to doante coats, jumpers and sleeping bags. The team presented a huge pile to the charity, which used them to stock up its day centre supplies.

Pupils at Chatsmore, in Goring Street, baked cupcakes for the hostels and packaged up gift bags for residents.

Sue Stevens, fundraising manager said: “The children had taken so much care to individually decorate their cakes and their gift bags, making them a really personalised gift.”

Worthing mayour Michael Donin visited some of the 188 volunteers at St Clare’s on December 17 and thanked the breakfast club team for its ongoing commitment.

He then went to the charity shop in Montague Street, where he met with shop and van assistant volunteers.

Volunteer co-ordinator Abi Harley said: “We really could not continue doing the work of the charity without the fabulous volunteers who give up so much of their time to help men and women on their journey back into their own accommodation.

“We have a variety of volunteering roles and are always looking to create new roles when people approach us with different skills.

“It was so nice the mayor was able to thank some of the volunteers for their hard work, we are truly blessed to have such a committed volunteer team all across the charity.”

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