25th Jun, 2022

Appeal for volunteers and donations to give Coventry's homeless a Christmas to remember

AN APPEAL has been launched for volunteers to help give homeless people a Christmas to remember.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Coventry Open Christmas project where kind-hearted volunteers give up their Christmas Day to help make someone else’s special.

Each homeless person usually receives a hot dinner and a place to sleep but, due to Covid restrictions, this year, people will be unable to sleep over and instead the scheme will operate from 8am to 10pm every day between December 24 and 29.

Last year organisers were overwhelmed by the generosity of Coventry residents who donated clothes, food, entertainment and services.

Guests were given Christmas presents on the day, clean warm clothes to wear and could have their hair trimmed as well if needed.

It is hoped they will get just as much support this year, for their 30th year, as even more guests are expected.

Operations manager Natasha Leese said there was no need for anyone to be alone this festive season.

“We recognise this year will be extremely hard for many especially with the cut to Universal Credit.

“Many people have been pushed into hardship and we will be here to make sure everyone can have an amazing Christmas.”

At least 100 volunteers to assist with running the shelter, along with donations of cash, food, bedding and clothing, are needed for it to be a success.

Hundreds of guests will be given hearty meals and hot drinks throughout the week and will be entertained with live music and bingo during their stay.

Kind-hearted volunteers will give up their time to make sure their homeless guests get everything they need to keep warm and fed over the Christmas period and a hairdresser will be on hand to give hair and nail trims.

The project is part of the Grub’n’Gab Club which serves hot meals every Saturday breakfast time at the St Barnabas Family Centre in Foleshill.

A volunteers meeting will be held ay 7pm on December 6 for anyone interested in signing up and further details can be found at CoventryOpenChristmas.co.uk or via the ‘Coventry Open Christmas Grubngabclub’ Facebook page.

Set up at the church begins on December 23 when anyone with donations will be able to drop them off at the centre.


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