Cold Relief in Bedford 2023 Winter Appeal Goes LIVE!
Bedford based homelessness charity SMART CJS launched its annual Winter Appeal today with a view to raising £60,000 to fund their much relied upon Prebend Street Support Hub. As the colder weather approaches, the need for the services the Centre provides is already dramatically rising.
It is a difficult reality that the cost-of-living crisis is far from over, and that means that more than ever, people are struggling to stay on top of everyday costs such as rent and bills. As a result, the number of people rough sleeping is on the increase as people are losing their homes. You’ve probably seen people sleeping rough in Bedford. People can be found sleeping in doorways, parks, tents, in their car and in multistorey car parks, desperate that the lights will supply warmth. Our Support Hub on Prebend Street remains busy with people who have nowhere else to go and are in need of urgent help. The Hub also acts as a doorway to the charity’s additional services including our Emergency Shelter, the Rogers Court supported living residence, and the First Point prevention team. Jen Robus, CEO of SMART, said “We are seeing more and more people approach SMART, worried that they are facing homelessness, or are already rough sleeping. As a long-standing part of the Bedford community, the Prebend Support Hub is often the first place people think of to get help and advice. Sadly, like with many other charities, we are feeling the strain of rising costs to keep the Hub running and to meet increasing demand.”
About the Prebend Support Hub
As well as dedicated Case Workers and Support Staff on site, SMART provides hot meals, clean clothing and bedding, hot showers, shelter, GP registration& nurse appointments, English lessons, Path to Recovery sessions, toiletries and much more. It is supported by a small team of highly dedicated volunteers who come in every day to help in the kitchen or on reception to help keep the Hub running efficiently. It costs £234,000 a year to provide this service, and we work hard to fundraise the money we need to keep everything running. Cassie Burrows, Prebend Support Hub Manager, said “We rely heavily on the support from our local community. Without your help, we wouldn’t be able to keep opening our doors and offer much needed provision to people coping with homelessness. Please donate if you can. Thank you so much!”
How can you help?
You can help by donating to the appeal, here: https://smartcjs.enthuse.com/cf/cribappeal2023
No matter how big or small, SMART will be hugely grateful for your contribution. Speaking of which, if you are a taxpayer, please don’t forget to add Gift Aid which tops up your donation by 25%!
Why not ask your religious group, sports team, school or workplace to get involved? The charity’s Fundraising Manager Sarah Grimes will be happy to help you organise a collection or fundraising activity. If you’d like to donate clothing, food, sleeping bags etc, please head to the charity’s website www.smartcjs.org to see what they are most in need of. The email address for all queries related to the appeal is firstname.lastname@example.org.