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.
In its 50th anniversary year, Crisis at Christmas runs from 22nd to 29th December 2017 with centres set to open across London, Birmingham, Newcastle, Coventry and Edinburgh. One in four homeless people will face spending Christmas alone this year. With the homelessness crisis worsening, Crisis says the centres are needed now more than ever. As well as warmth, companionship and hot meals, guests will receive healthcare and specialist advice on housing, work and benefits. The sewing service team plays a vital role carrying out repairs to guests’ clothing 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. Crisis at Christmas centres are run by thousands of volunteers from all walks of life with registration now open at crisis.org.uk/volunteer.
Long-term volunteer Kerry Smith said: “I started volunteering at Crisis five years ago after signing up as a general volunteer. Giving a little bit of my time to help others felt like the right thing to do. From the second I walked in I knew I had made the right decision. Seeing all the services available to those who needed it most and the enormous part the volunteers play in making it all happen blew me away!”
Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said: “Without our volunteers, Crisis at Christmas simply wouldn’t exist to help provide a warm, safe place to those with nowhere to call home. It’s because of their generosity that we can bring thousands of people friendship, support, and life-changing services each and every Christmas. And though we work all year round to help people experiencing homelessness – we know that the Christmas season should be a special time for everyone and that no one should have to spend it alone. So as our charity turns 50, we will work harder than ever to make homelessness a thing of the past. And until then our volunteers will remain at the heart of what we do.”