OBSERVER readers have been throwing their weight behind this year’s festive appeal.
So let’s keep up the fantastic momentum as we aim to help Stonepillow deliver Christmas to homeless and vulnerable people.
We issued a call for shoeboxes of winter woollies and many of you have rushed to help.
This week we are also turning our attention to support the workshops at Stonepillow’s day centre.
This time of year is a stressful one for us all but, as we write our festive wish lists, it can be all too easy to overlook those who just want the things we take for granted.
Karen Shelley is the mental health team leader at The Hub and manages the day-to-day running of the day centre.
This includes the organising of workshops which vary from basic life skills to creative activities and all work to help Stonepillow’s clients escape from, and cope with, their daily struggles.
“During the afternoons at The Hub we offer workshops for our clients on a range of subjects,” Karen explained.
“They can include cooking, life and employment skills, art and music.
“These workshops provide an opportunity for our clients to take a little time out from the stressful situations and circumstances many of them are facing.
“Music and art therapy, as well as other creative pursuits such as writing and even knitting, do enable our clients to relax, de-stress and manage their emotions.”
With this in mind this week we are asking for donations of music, arts and crafts items.
This can include all, or a selection, of the following: instruments, song books, CDs, sketch books, canvasses, paint sets, brushes, pencils and craft materials.
“The donations from this week’s appeal will help to support and enhance the delivery of these workshops,” said Karen.
“They may also be distributed to clients at other projects such as St Joseph’s and Sands, to support those clients who may wish to use art as a form of creative therapy.”
Most of Stonepillow’s workshops are run by volunteers, to find out more about their work please see below.
Stonepillow is the homeless charity for Chichester and Arun Districts. Its services include two night hostels – St Joseph’s in Chichester and Glenlogie House in Bognor Regis.
St Joseph’s sleeps ten clients on a long-stay programme and is open seven nights a week, all year round. Glenlogie is open seven nights a week from November to April, and is also operating as a drop-in day centre for
three days a week until April.
Stonepillow also has another day centre called The Hub, at the Old Glassworks in central Chichester, which is open seven days a week all year round. In addition, 54 clients are housed in its move-on accommodation and there is a no-second-night-out team, a
12-bed residential recovery and rehabilitation centre (Sands) and a social enterprise community project (Restore) that recycles furniture and white goods, while providing volunteering and training opportunities.
“Stonepillow is committed to supporting people who find themselves sleeping rough on the streets, providing them access to safety, and to improving their wellbeing and preventing homelessness by breaking the cycles that lead people to insecure accommodation,” explains Emily Skiggs, community fundraiser.
“The journey from homelessness towards recovery can be long and painful with many challenges and obstacles to conquer along the way. Providing the best possible outcome through health, housing and work for our beneficiaries remains at the heart of every decision we make.”
How you can help
Please bring unwrapped Christmas boxes to any of the following addresses:
n The Chichester Observer, Unicorn House, Eastgate Square, Chichester, PO19 1JN.
n The Bognor Regis Observer, on Belmont Street, Bognor Regis, PO21 1BJ.
nStonepillow’s St Joesph’s Night Refuge, Hunston Road, Chichester, PO20 1NP.
Boxes will then be checked and wrapped by volunteers before being given to those who need them.
It costs around £22 to provide accommodation and a meal for one person per night at St Joseph’s, while 24 hours of care for a client at the rehabilitation centre costs around £65.
People wishing to give cash donations to help contribute to this care and the many areas of maintaining and running projects throughout the year can do so either by using the text donation code (below) or taking it to St Joseph’s Night Hostel.
YOU CAN ALSO TEXT TO DONATE: The text donation code works as follows: Text STJO25 and your amount of £10, £5, £4, £3, £2 or £1 to 70070 to support the Christmas campaign via Just Text Giving.