A warm bed, a hot bath, and a steaming cup of a tea are all things that help us get through the harsh, freezing winter months. But, instead of this, what if your priorities involved finding bedding, food or even a safe place to sleep?
Emmanuel House is Retail Assist’s charity of the year and today, we attended the launch of their Winter Appeal. Whilst homelessness is a year-round issue, the focus of their Winter Appeal is to work with beneficiaries to help find a home of their own – something that many of us take for granted.
Speaking at the launch, Denis Tully, Emmanuel House’s Chief Executive Officer, said: ‘Ultimately, our ambition is to ensure that people recover from homelessness, forever.”
Emmanuel House’s services, and the Winter Shelter they co-ordinate, are an integral part of the plan to reduce homelessness in Nottingham city. In 2017-2018, over 900 individuals used the service, amounting to over 17,000 visits to the centre. The services they provide are varied, with the provision offered covering everything from advice and advocacy around tenancies, benefits, mental health support, training and workshops, drug and alcohol support, and a daily nurse, to a core programme of social activities including art projects and a choir. They also have an on-site charity shop, which brings in much-needed income and is also a place for service users to gain all-important work experience.
With the support centre costing £1,000 a day to run, plus extra funding needed to finance the Winter Shelter, and no statutory funding received, donations are vital to provide support and services to the centre’s users.
However, whilst monetary donations are crucial to keeping the centre running, contributions of food and clothing also make a significant difference to the work of Emmanuel House. Their ‘most-needed items’ include tinned tomatoes, cooking oil, stock cubes, tea, coffee and gravy powder, with other essentials listed such as rucksacks, trainers, sleeping bags, jeans and jogging bottoms.
This December, Retail Assist will hold its annual Christmas raffle, which takes place across all of our sites. With an office fuddle, fundraising activities and a Christmas Jumper Day, all proceeds raised will go to Emmanuel House.
Many of us will be looking forward to a joyful Christmas, filled with loved ones, parties and presents. However, perhaps this winter, you might want to consider supporting vulnerable adults and the challenges they face.
Because, as Denis summarises: ‘Without hope, we wither.’
Emmanuel House is Retail Assist’s charity of the year. You can read more about some of our fundraising efforts here and here, and for more information regarding how you could support Emmanuel House, visit their website here.