Local charity Surviving Christmas is once again opening its doors to those in need over Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
The charity, which has been running for more than 30 years, now offers showers, medical facilities, hairdressing and a clothing bank to all who come in over the two days, in addition to hot and cold food.
Chairman Sue Evans said: “Most people know that we offer meals for people over those two days, however we actually offer a whole lot more. Our guests who come in for traditional Christmas Day and Boxing Day fayre also have the opportunity to have a hot shower, get their hair done and choose new clothing to take away with them. We are also fortunate enough to have a doctor who volunteers with us as well as some professional counsellors, which means we can help some of the more vulnerable members of the community who come in to us over the Christmas period.
“We also signpost guests to other local services that may be needed.”
An operation like this takes some coordinating and work on the project got underway in August.
The trustees and lead volunteers work behind the scenes, advertising for volunteers, running fundraising events and planning every detail to ensure that the Christmas project runs smoothly.
In addition to the open event, held at the Salvation Army in St Andrew’s Square, Surviving Christmas also provides food hampers in the week leading up to Christmas to members of the local community.
These are delivered by teams of volunteers to people who have been referred to the charity via other services.
Secretary Caroline Bendell said: “Organising the hampers is a massive task. The food we get donated is boxed up and put on vans and delivered to residents in Hastings and Rother.
“We couldn’t undertake this task were it not for our volunteers and the people who donate both food and money to us.
“I would like to thank everyone involved but in particular I’d like to mention local firm Crusader, who have provided us with vans every year in order to make this happen.”
For more information about Surviving Christmas, visit www.survivingchristmas.co.uk.
You can also email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their Facebook or Twitter page.