Charity's urgent appeal to help make Christmas magical for Coventry's homeless and vulnerable - The Coventry Observer

Charity's urgent appeal to help make Christmas magical for Coventry's homeless and vulnerable

Coventry Editorial 13th Nov, 2023   0

A COVENTRY charity has made an urgent appeal for donations as skyrocketing demand has left them struggling to spread enough Christmas cheer to help those in need across the city this year.

Coventry Cyrenians has been helping the homeless and vulnerable in the city for 50 years, providing free Christmas Day meals for more than three decades.

But charity chiefs have said the cost of living crisis has made the pressure on its services ‘worse than ever before’ with figures showing the number of people seeking its help has more than doubled in less than a year.

In response, the Cyrenians have launched the Golden Winter Appeal, which marks the charity’s 50th anniversary and aims to raise thousands of pounds to provide support and shelter for those most in need.

Cash raised will go towards providing a hot meal, presents and entertainment at a special event hosted by volunteers at Methodist Central Hall on Christmas Day.

Last year, more than 100 people attended the Cyrenians festive event with volunteers also making 12 takeaway meals.

The Cyrenians have previously used the day as a chance to hand out essential items such as warm socks, hats and gloves, and toiletries.

The number of people or households seeking the charity’s help has increased from 199 between April 1 to October 31, 2022, to 407 over the same period this year.

The charity is also urgently seeking more accommodation after occupancy rates in its current properties have spiralled from 85 per cent to 97 per cent.

Cyrenians chief executive Caron Williams said: “The situation is worse than ever before, in Coventry, hundreds of families are unable to provide themselves with a hot meal, either through a lack of money or facilities such as a cooker.

“One of the main reasons is the cost of living crisis. We’re determined as a charity to make sure everyone who needs help this winter is kept warm and has a hot meal, especially on Christmas Day.”

“The Christmas Day event at the Methodist Central Hall is for anyone who doesn’t have access to a hot meal.

“We’re hoping the appeal will help to bring some much-needed joy and comfort not only on the big day but throughout the winter.”

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