National homelessness charity Crisis is calling on keen knitters, craft enthusiasts and people with sewing and alteration skills to help boost homeless people's self-esteem at their temporary centres this Christmas
Crisis at Christmas 2014 runs from 23 – 30 December, with centres set to open across London, Newcastle and Edinburgh. As well as warmth, companionship and hot meals, guests will also receive healthcare and specialist advice on housing, work and benefits.
The sewing service team plays a vital role carrying out repairs to guests' clothes and belongings, with a variety of roles on offer from experts at making and repairing clothes to keen enthusiasts who can help with basic tasks such as sewing on buttons and taking up hems.
There are also roles available for people to run craft sessions in everything from knitting to T-shirt making, helping guests try something new and develop their skills.
Londoner Ann Kirplani has volunteered across various roles at Christmas, “I always thought volunteering at Christmas would be a lovely thing to do but was scared not knowing what to expect. Now eight years later, Christmas Day is not Christmas Day unless I'm volunteering with Crisis. Seeing the volunteers spending time chatting to guests, doing their hair and giving them health check-ups – this is what Christmas is all about for me. It truly makes you grateful for all the small pleasures that you have in life.”
Homelessness has risen substantially in recent years, with government statistics showing a 37 per cent rise in rough sleeping in England since 2010.
Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “Being homeless can be a cold, miserable experience and never more so than at Christmas when most of us are sharing in the warmth of family and friends.By helping make Christmas happen for homeless people, volunteers can not only bring some much-needed cheer to our guests but also set them up with the chance to have a more positive year ahead through the life-changing services at our Crisis Skylight centres.”
Crisis at Christmas centres are run by thousands of volunteers from all walks of life with registration now open at www.crisis.org.uk/pages/volunteer-christmas
Posted: 13 October 2014
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