A Brighton charity for the homeless has gone online with its annual Christmas appeal – and even its usual street collections have become virtual this year.
Brighton Housing Trust (BHT) has also posted a video about its work with help from a local independent production company Big Egg Films (see below).
Portslade councillor Peter Atkinson is among those holding virtual street collections, having set up a Just Giving page.
He said: “I’m holding a virtual Christmas collection for Brighton Housing Trust to help replace the vital donations they’re set to lose from their in-person street collections this year.
“Throughout covid-19 all BHT projects have continued to provide services and change lives across Sussex – and demand for their services is higher than ever.
“They have helped rough sleepers move into accommodation and continue to support those new to rough sleeping – between eight and twelve people every week in Brighton and Hove alone.
“Last year, BHT prevented 927 households from becoming homeless.
“Please give what you can to support their work so they can reach even more people who need their help.
“A donation of £2 could pay for a client at First Base to have their clothes washed and dried.
“A donation of £10 could cover the cost of a meal, clean clothes and hot shower for someone sleeping rough.
“A donation of £25 could pay for an assessment and support plan to help someone move away from rough sleeping.”
BHT said that the First Base day centre had remained open throughout the coronavirus pandemic, providing hot food, warm showers and clean clothes.
Social distancing rules meant that it was able to help fewer people at any one time as part of the effort to keep everyone safe.
BHT said that it had also supported Brighton and Hove City Council in its efforts to help rough sleepers off the streets, “navigating 274 people into accommodation secured by the council”.
BHT chief executive Andy Winter said: “During these challenging times, many people are facing new financial pressures and falling into debt and the prospect of homelessness.
“But with the right advice this can often be avoided. Every week BHT’s advisers help families and individuals facing eviction to keep their homes.
“For those who have lost their homes, First Base continues to provide a much-needed lifeline of practical support at a time when many other services have had to close their doors.
“It will remain open over the festive period, including on Christmas Day, with restricted hours and numbers.
“We need your help to keep our services going and reach more people with life-changing support.
“Please donate to our appeal if you are able, or take a look at our website to see all the other creative ways you can help us fundraise – from taking part in a virtual street collection, to nominating us for a festive financial boost from (insurance company) Ecclesiastical’s 12 Days of Giving campaign.
“This is the fourth year running that Adam Sheldon and his team at Big Egg Films have donated their time and expertise to produce a fantastic film to help us raise funds over Christmas.
“We are so grateful to them and to all our incredible supporters that make our work possible.
“If you would like to donate to BHT’s Christmas appeal, get involved in a virtual Christmas collection, or watch the appeal video, visit bht.org.uk.”
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