Help save lives this Christmas

PUBLISHED: 11:00 25 December 2010

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Archant

RECENT snow and subzero temperatures represent a genuine threat to the lives of people sleeping rough in and around Weston, a homeless charity says.

Somewhere To Go, based in the Boulevard, works to protect vulnerable people who are struggling to find accommodation and warmth. The organisation receives no public sector funding, so relies on donations – and its manager Joan Eales says support is needed during the cold snap more than ever.

She said: “Outside may look festive and pretty with the white frost and snow and I love it when I don’t have to go out in it but can enjoy the scenery from the warmth of my home.

“Somewhere To Go was set up for people who have nowhere to go, and winters like this one demonstrate how valuable the day centre in town is for people who are not able to enjoy the cold weather from the warmth of a home.

“This winter, we are expecting to experience quite a long period of cold weather so it’s more dangerous than usual for those who sleep rough or don’t have secure or decent housing at this time of year.

“The current financial climate, coupled with rising heating costs, presents us with a huge challenge.

“We get no core funding and although we are constantly seeking funding from local organisations and trust funds and foundations, money is very tight and we often find it hard to make ends meet.”

The charity is appealing for public support to help keep vulnerable people safe over Christmas, and into the New Year too.

Joan continued: “We are regularly amazed at the generosity of people who also find life challenging.

“As well as thanking all of you for your valuable support, we would like to make an appeal for further donations to help us over this difficult winter.

“It makes a huge difference to people who have nowhere to live or poor accommodation if they can come into a warm place for a few hours and have hot drinks and food.

“We are used to running the centre on a shoestring and don’t waste things, so can assure you that any money you donate will be used wisely.”

Anyone who would like information about Somewhere To Go, or who would like to make a contribution, can contact Joan on 01934 641880.

n The Boulevard United Reformed Church in Waterloo Street is holding a special homelessness service at 3pm on January 30.

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