Homeless charity Brighton Housing Trust (BHT) is holding its Annual Big Christmas Street Collection today (Saturday 16 December) from 1pm and 5pm across various sites in Brighton.
Volunteers aim to raise essential funds for BHT’s First Base Day Centre, where all proceeds will go to providing a range of services to support people who are sleeping rough or insecurely housed in Brighton and Hove.
Shelley Reed, one of the organisers, said: “Many churches, community choirs and collectors have volunteered their time to sing and collect money across the city.
“We are so grateful for everyone’s support including the sites who have allowed us to collect at their sites including local supermarkets, the Open Market, Churchill Square and Brighton Railway Station.
“To make the Big Christmas Street Collection bigger and better each year, come and join us for a festive afternoon. Your help will change lives.”
Former councillor and Radio Reverb presenter Geoffrey Bowden is leading the team collecting in George Street, Hove.
Earlier this week he said: “Rough sleeping and homelessness continues to blight in Brighton and Hove and, while rough sleepers always seem to get more attention in the run up to Christmas, the problem is year-round.
“Luckily there are great organisations such as Brighton Housing Trust (BHT) that work tirelessly 12 months of the year to bring about positive change for people who find themselves living on our streets.
“Turning people’s lives around is not something that happens overnight.
“It takes dedicated staff and the right facilities, both of which require large amounts of money.
“That’s why, this coming Saturday afternoon (16 December), I am inviting you to join me on Hove’s George Street to help collect money to keep going the wonderful work of BHT’s First Base Day Centre.
“Please give up an hour or so of your time between 1pm and 4.30pm to help with a street collection on behalf of the First Base Day Centre.
“We will have two great choirs joining us to raise our spirits and encourage people doing their Christmas shopping to part with more their cash to support First Base Day Centre’s vital work.
“If you can come along you will find me with collecting buckets and shakers outside the Slug and Lettuce pub. I very much look forward to seeing you there – do wrap up to keep warm!”