Crisis at Christmas appeals for donations after rise in homeless

12:58 19 December 2012

A Crisis at Christmas centre in London. Picture by Bob Johns

A Crisis at Christmas centre in London. Picture by Bob Johns

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Homeless charity Crisis has asked London24 readers to help them support thousands of homeless people over Christmas.

The organisation says that a huge rise of rough sleepers of 43 per cent in London means they need donations and volunteers more than ever. The appeal comes as they announce the location of five day centres, which will help support 3,200 homeless people from December 23.

Duncan Shrubsole, director of policy at Crisis, said: “We have a busy and hectic final week of preparations and we’re in the process of training volunteers.

“Often it is over Christmas when homeless people come out, and Crisis can be the first time they get help. So we’ll give them a hot meal, housing advice and support.”

Mr Shrubsole added: “We do still need specialist volunteers, like hairdressers and drivers. And we always need people to help us with a donation.” He said a gift of £20.48 can help one person for a night at one of the Crisis at Christmas centres.

Crisis at Christmas facts

3200 guests accessed Crisis at Christmas centres in 2011

760 guests slept in our residential centres

21,000 meals served for guests

700 guests accessed the advice service

39 referred to winter night shelters

28 referred to street outreach services

150 referred to agencies for on-going advice

537 guests accessed the healthcare service

202 guests had a chest x-ray via TB screening

383 consultations took place with 368 guests receiving dental treatment

87 teeth extracted from 59 guests and around 200 guests received oral hygiene/

A fundraising midwinter swim at the unheated Brockwell Lido, south London, on Saturday raised more than £10,000 for the project.

The five day centres are as follows:

•The north London Centre will be based at Westminster Kingsway College on Grays Inn Road and there will be three pick-up points, outside Finsbury Park Train Station, outside Kentish Town Job Centre Plus and outside Mornington Crescent Tube Station.

•The centre in Hammersmith will be based in Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College on Giddon Road. Again there will be three pick-up points, Victoria Station, Chelsea Methodist Church on Kings Road and Broadway Centre in Shepherds Bush.

City of London Academy on Lynton Road will be the Bermondsey Centre. You can get picked up near Waterloo Station, the Park in Temple Place Crescent off Victoria Embankment, London Bridge (behind Southwark Cathedral) and a fourth being outside Bermondsey Tube Station.

•The fourth centre is based in east London and is the City of London Academy on Homerton Row. The pick-up points for this centre are; outside Stratford Picture Centre , outside McDonalds in Canning Town and Christ Church Spitalfields – opposite Spitalfields Market.

•The final centre will be based at Lewisham College on Deptford Church Street.

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