SMART Prebend Centre Ball Banks £10K for Essential Repairs
Homelessness is still the major social issue of our time, 30 years after Phil Collins’ anthem, Another Day in Paradise, was released.
SMART CJS hosts an annual dinner dance to raise funds for the SMART Prebend Centre, and this year’s event was held on Saturday 14th September, at the Sharnbrook Hotel, Bedford with a Masquerade Ball theme.
Over 100 people attended and a good time was had by all. Everyone had great fun with the mask concept; it’s amazing what people have in their wardrobes from phantom of the opera half masks to original Venetian ones!
The guests enjoyed a bidding in a silent auction with luxury villa holidays abroad to weekends away in the UK on offer. Local hotels also donated afternoon tea and wine tasting experiences to auction. The raffle prizes included Amazon Fires, Mancave Grooming sets, Yankee Candle gifts and Wine Hampers.
An at-table magician, instant photo booth, strings music and a disco kept everyone entertained until the early hours. And during the evening, Area Manager SMART CJS, Lisa Harrison and CEO SMART CJS, Anita McCallum, gave a short speech and slide presentation about the problem of homelessness and the work of the SMART Prebend Centre.
Anita McCallum explains:
“The powerful images and information we showed during the evening with the iconic Phil Collins track, Another Day in Paradise, playing were there for a reason. This song was released in 1989 – and a staggering thirty years later, we still live in a country that counts homelessness and rough sleeping among the big social issues of our time.
We believe that one in 200 people are homeless, with up to 8000 people sleeping rough in England at any one time. These are fathers, brothers, mothers, sisters and friends who, for whatever reason, have reached a low point in their lives and need a little support and attention to provide them the means to survive and also that much-needed sprinkling of hope. And in Bedford alone 140 people use the centre every month. In 2018, 440 unique service users came through our doors at the SMART Prebend Centre. Think about it – that’s 440 people we wouldn’t be able to support if we weren’t here.”
We were lucky to have new friends join us, My Estate Bedford, who kindly sponsored the staging of the event. Grateful thanks go to them for their kindness.
Mumin Muqtadir, Director at My Estate Bedford said:
“We are happy to have helped, by sponsoring and attending the wonderful ball. It’s such a worthwhile cause and we are very proud to have contributed to a fabulous night.”
One final thank you to Concept Event Solutions for donating the audio visual equipment for the Ball.
Although we have not yet made the £20K target, the hope is that post-event donations and additional grant applications will help us to get nearer that figure to carry out essential repairs.
Couldn’t make it to the Masquerade Ball, but still want to help?
Make an online donation to the Protect SMART Prebend Centre Fund.
About the SMART Prebend Centre
The SMART Prebend Centre, operates 365 days a year in Bedford, supporting those who sleep rough, are vulnerably housed and often face social isolation and exclusion. The centre is a place of safety, providing all those items we take for granted; namely, food, warmth, water, a place to get clean and rest. It costs £250,000 per year to keep open, funded entirely through charitable donations and grants, and the support of the local community. This year, the centre is also facing significant additional costs associated with an old building in need of urgent repairs.