During this festive and frantic time of year, thoughts also turn to those in real need. The colder weather brings extra challenges to the homeless who can be particularly vulnerable in winter.
Southend City BID is supporting the outstanding local charity HARP, who provide much needed help for the homeless in a coordinated way. Their current campaign 'Don't Walk By ' targets those in need with emergency accommodation, food and the ability to get back on their feet.
Instead of giving directly to individuals on the street, donations to HARP provide a structured and safe way to ensure that money is spent on the things that will make a real difference to the wellbeing of Southend's homeless. Information posters promoting how to make donations will be sited around the city centre BID area to encourage support.
George Bejko-Cowlbeck, Southend City BID Chairman said: “Southenders are very generous, and we are supporting this campaign to help ensure the work of HARP can continue to improve chances for the homeless. It's tempting to give money to those on the street directly, but this campaign helps support resources for the charity to provide a safe and warm environment”
Clare Wilson, Head of Communications at HARP said: “We are really grateful to the BID team for arranging a prominent and eye-catching donation point in the High Street on HARP's behalf. With the temperature dropping we have recently opened a night shelter for people sleeping rough in Southend in partnership with Southend-on-Sea City Council.
Any donations we receive through the donation point will go towards making Christmas a special time in the shelter and in our other services. It will also ensure that we are able to provide ongoing support to people when the shelter closes at the end of the winter. Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who supports our appeal."
Donations of £5 can be made from your mobile by texting SOUTHEND to 70450. To find out more information on projects that HARP are working on visit www.harpsouthend.org.uk, or head to www.SouthendChange.co.uk for details on the outreach services available in the city.