With more than 300,000 people in England likely to spend Christmas experiencing some form of homelessness, North East businesses have supported the delivery of Christmas lunches for homeless drop-in centres in Gateshead and Sunderland.

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Difficult times

Over the past year our Basis homeless drop-ins have been attended nearly 3,600 times. Each visit sees men and women experiencing homelessness supported by our staff as part of our crisis service. The cost-of-living crisis and the fallout from the pandemic has significantly impacted people’s ability to afford necessities like food, with fears that this situation will only get worse over winter.

Alex Laing, Head of Crisis Services, explained that “As the cost of almost everything remains high, so will demand for our services. A considerable percentage of those people who are stuggling, find themselves at risk of falling into homelessness.”

“At Oasis Community Housing we see the worth in everyone. Being able to bring some Christmas cheer to the drop-ins has been incredible. Many of the people we support wouldn’t have enjoyed a Christmas lunch this year if it wasn’t for the wonderful businesses and individuals behind them who have made this possible.”

Volunteer support

A team made up of volunteers from Connected Voice and Muckle LLP supported the lunches in Gateshead whilst volunteers from Kier Construction helped out in Sunderland.

The 40 guests, mostly rough sleepers or those facing a housing crisis, also received gifts including Greggs food vouchers and selection boxes provided by Muckle LLP, Gentoo and Sekura Group. Washington-based Simpson Group kindly donated the Turkey’s for the Christmas lunches too.

Along with the Christmas dinners for our homeless drop-in centres, we will be trying to give individuals and families across our projects in North East England, South London, and Peterborough a Christmas to remember as well.

Gifts and Christmas hampers, many kindly provided by supporters including Cash4Kids and Feeding Families, will be distributed to the people we support. The Peterborough Rotary club have also provided gifts decorations to residents at our Queen Street project In Peterborough that supports families of Ukrainian refugees.

Find out about our Giving a Home Christmas appeal >>>