Crisis, the charity which helps the homeless is calling on qualified chefs, experienced catering staff and dedicated to volunteer over the festive period.
Crisis will provide services at more than 15 centres across Britain offering food, clothing, advice and support with health, housing, employment and benefits.
The charity recently teamed up with Mayhew, a leading animal welfare charity for dogs, and have launched a joint Christmas gift campaign that will help homeless people and their dogs access vital services, health and wellbeing checks, and warming food and supplies.
Homelessness is devastating, and a dog can be the only companion for someone who doesn’t have a place to call home. Crisis and Mayhew have been working together for 11 years to bring warmth and support to homeless people and their dogs. This year, the two charities have collaborated on an extra special initiative – a range of four virtual gifts designed to make a real difference to vulnerable owners and their pets.
Supporters can choose to donate £5, £10, £15 or £20 and, with proceeds split equally between Crisis and Mayhew, can help both charities fund much needed items and services for homeless people and their dogs. A few examples range from providing a cup of tea and a canine health check to a warm coat and help accessing a practical skills course.
During the Christmas period, it can feel especially isolating to not have a place to call home. Extra support from the public is critical for the work both charities do to help homeless people during the festive season.
Jenny Plant, kitchen co-ordinator and volunteer, said: “Overseeing the busy kitchen service at Crisis’s Christmas centres is something I look forward to all year. It can be hard work getting everything prepared but whether I’m taking a delivery or checking if the chefs have everything they need to be able to provide healthy home-cooked meals, it’s all part of the fun.
“Volunteering with Crisis becomes even more fulfilling when you see the positive impact it has on the guests. Over the week, regular hot meals, a good night’s rest and the chance to chat and make friends does wonders for their self-esteem and wellbeing. This in turn helps them to engage with the support services available and start their journey away from homelessness.”
The centres run from 22–29 December across London, Birmingham, Coventry, Newcastle and Edinburgh. Last year the volunteer catering team served 33,659 meals.
Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “Crisis’ work is year-round, but when it comes to our Christmas centres it’s down to the generosity of our fantastic volunteers that we’re able to provide a safe and supportive place for those with nowhere to turn over the holidays.”
To register visit crisis.org.uk/volunteer