As you’re probably aware by now, our Cold Relief in Bedford (CRIB) winter appeal is well underway. Team members James, Sarah and Ali have been busy visiting local businesses to seek their support for this crucial campaign. They had a thoroughly enjoyable time meeting business owners, their teams, and their customers; explaining to them the reasons for the appeal and where the money goes. CRIB is SMART’s largest fundraising activity of the year and whilst we are off to a great start, we still have some way to go to reach the target of £40,000.
The Team stopped by The Zip Yard on Bedford High Street where they met with Graeme Mulheron, the manager. Having been in Bedford for over thirty years, he knew quite a lot about SMART, the CRIB appeal and why our services are needed in this area. The Zip Yard is a large organisation with branches in many towns; they offer clothing alterations, repairs, curtain-making services and dry cleaning.
The team at SMART would like to say a huge THANK YOU to Graeme for supporting this year’s CRIB Appeal by taking up a bronze sponsorship package worth £150. He’s our first business sponsor this year and his donation is enough to pay for two weeks’ worth of food from our partners at fareshare. Graeme said “I think this is a fantastic appeal and I am glad to help SMART with their winter appeal. If I could have afforded it, I would have donated much more. We’re all feeling the squeeze on our resources, sadly.”
The Prebend Street Centre is much needed and relied upon hub of activity. Services provided include hot meals, somewhere warm to shelter during the day, showering facilities, support services and is run by a fantastic team of SMART employees and volunteers.
It costs over £250,000.00 to keep the centre running per year and even our own costs are set to rise. During the winter months, the need for these services will increase significantly as more and more people struggle with paying their bills. Sadly, the Prebend Centre does not receive any funding from the Government or the Local Authorities, and so all that is provided at the Prebend Centre is thanks to incredibly generous donations and grants.
Without donations, the Centre would quite simply have to close, and many people would suffer as a result. It is of paramount importance that this service remains open and that we continue to provide for those most in need at the coldest time of the year. The aim of this appeal is to raise £40,000.00 to keep the centre open, that’s £10,000 for each of the winter months – November to February.
The truth of the matter is that we are seeing people from all different economic backgrounds use the Centre with our rough-sleeper numbers being the lowest of all those that now use the services. Even people with full time jobs are accessing our services. This shows how much our Centre on Prebend Street is needed now more than ever. The cost-of-living crisis is worsening and even everyday folk who last month could just about afford to feed themselves, are now coming to the Centre to get a hot meal so that they can have their heating on for just a few hours. This appeal is about making sure that everybody is kept safe, warm, and dry this winter.
Could you be our next sponsor?
We have a number of sponsorship packages available for local or national businesses to be able to sponsor this year’s appeal and help us to provide for the people that need help the most.
If your business would like to get involved in our Cold Relief in Bedford campaign, please contact email@example.com. You can also contact Sarah about any other ideas or suggestions you may have related to fundraising for SMART.
Can you help to promote the CRIB Appeal?
If you are a member of a local group, church or school and you are able to print and display one of our posters, we will be very grateful for the support.