An update from Anita McCallum, SMART CJS CEO.
SMART CJS had to suspend fundraising during COVID-19, but this week, as Christmas approaches, we are back with the launch of the annual Cold Relief In Bedford (CRIB) appeal and we need your support!
Our target is to raise £50k in order to re-open the Prebend Homeless Day Centre in 2022 and serve warm meals again and provide a welcoming space for those who are often feeling isolated and alone. Many will know that we had to close the Prebend Centre in March 2020 due to Government regulations as it was impossible to create a compliant space with social distancing and one-way traffic in and out. With restrictions lifted and refurbishment carried out, our aim is to start to safely use the building again.
With regular maintenance and repairs needed, it costs a six-figure sum every year to run the Prebend Centre and we are reliant on donations and the support of the community and local organisations. In these times of rising energy bills, we need people’s help and kindness more than ever.
We conducted a feedback survey asking our supporters and vulnerable people in Bedford what would be most needed if we opened the Prebend Centre again. Receiving hot meals and having a safe place to rest and connect came top of the list!
We are working hard on plans to re-open the facility early in 2022 and provide some warmth, support and much-needed nutrition. It will be a phased programme of reopening, starting with providing a hot meal during the lunchtime period.
Can you help us to spread the word about the CRIB appeal?
To save on costs and to help save the planet SMART has decided against a postal campaign this year. Please help us by downloading a poster and displaying it at your work (if allowed!) and at any local groups you attend.
If you know anyone in the media, please ask them to publish the media release below.