Christmas is a magical time of year, but with the number of people sleeping rough in the south-east rising by 30 per cent over the past year, many won’t be getting the merry Christmas they deserve.
Stonepillow provides 86 beds in total for homeless people in Chichester and Bognor Regis, however, on average there are still 19 people in Chichester and 22 people in Bognor sleeping on the streets every night.
The festive season can be especially difficult for people who are homeless as they cope with not only increasingly harsh weather, but also profound loneliness resulting from often having nowhere to go at the most social time of year.
The financial pressure of Christmas can also see an increase in the number of people losing their homes and facing family and relationship breakdowns.
This Christmas, the Observer is launching a campaign to help homeless charity Stonepillow appeal for volunteers for a number of projects and roles that need support.
Chief executive of Stonepillow, Geoffrey Willis said: “Just like how families enjoy putting up their decorations leading up to Christmas, we want our homes to look special this festive season also.
“Decorating the rooms where people, who are struggling, are staying can make a real difference. We want people to be uplifted by the condition of the rooms.”
Mr Willis added: “Wear and tear is high in our accommodation, so help with making them look the best they possibly can would be wonderful.
“We can organise someone to lead a small team of volunteers, so if you want to pick up a paint brush and help us smarten up the insides of our homes please get in touch.
“We also need some people to help spruce up the outsides of our homes, so get in contact if you want to help us with handywork and gardening.”
If you want to be part of the Christmas appeal for decorators and gardeners you can get in touch by calling 01243 537934 or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, if you are too busy to volunteer but still want to join in with the Christmas goodwill, you can donate by texting STPW25 followed by the amount you want to give to 70070.