Bedford cause appeals for £13,000 to help homeless through the winter
Bedford has rallied round the town’s homeless like never before this winter but one charity is appealing for more help.
The SMART Prebend Centre for the homeless and socially isolated in Bedford has received a record number of donations from locals towards its annual Christmas Relief In Bedford (CRIB) appeal.
The campaign has raised £37,000 so far, which meant that the centre was able to provide support for 200 homeless people during December and into January.
Jen Robus, manager of the SMART Prebend Centre, in Prebend Street, said “The response to CRIB this year has been unbelievable.
“The coming together of the community during this time has quite outstanding.
“It’s important to remember that although the CRIB appeal has Christmas in the title, this is a campaign to raise funds to support the centre throughout the winter months, which go beyond December.
“We still need an additional £13,000 to hit our target and this will help us to provide our service throughout February and into March.”
During December workers at the centre provided comfort and care for 200 homeless people, who accessed the service over 1500 times.
The team served 775 breakfasts and 1,100 hot lunches.
On Christmas Day 60 visitors to the centre had dinner and received parcels containing hats, gloves, toiletries, biscuits and chocolates.
An additional 70 parcels were distributed during December, were kindly donated by various local groups and individuals.
Anita McCallum, SMART’s chief executive said “This is the first CRIB appeal that I have been a part of and I’ve been extremely impressed with how the Bedford community have come together to support our centre, and the homeless population in Bedford.
“I’d like to extend my personal thanks to everyone who has helped us to get this far”
The Prebend Centre is open 365 days of the year offering homeless adults a safe space to access the basics that we all take for granted, such as hot meals, phones, internet, medical advice and showers. SMART workers assist users of the service to make plans to tackle their current problems by working alongside professional partners and other charitable services.
The CRIB appeal runs until the end of February, so there is still plenty of time to give some pennies to help the homeless in Bedford.
As little as £5 can provide breakfast for 13 homeless people and will make a real difference to the centre.
Donations can be made online, taken to the centre or sent by post.
> To find out about The SMART Prebend Centre and to make donations visit www.smartcjs.org.uk/contact-us/smart-prebend-centre