As we do every year, we will be opening our doors here at Sanctus on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years’ Eve and New Years’ Day. We will be providing special festive meals and services each day.
In previous years we have been blown away by the generosity of the community and the willingness of our supporters to help the homeless and vulnerable. This year we will be doing things a little differently!
Due to the Sanctus building being in full use and our limited storage facilities, we will not be running our usual shoebox appeal. Instead, we are asking for help in four different ways:
Donate to our Just Giving Christmas & Winter Appeal. We appreciate that many people are struggling, but if you are in a position to give some money, it will mean so much and will help us to keep opening our doors every day to the growing number of people who need our services.
Donate food, either directly or at our donation boxes in certain supermarkets:
Purchase essential items from our Amazon wish list which can be posted directly to us at Sanctus.
Send us a Christmas message to display in the café for our service users
Support Hub Update
The Hub as always is a hive of activity. The range of people and problems grows increasingly more diverse by the day, making no two days the same! Some of the issues that we have supported our Sanctus community with this month include assisting victims of physical and sexual assault to get specialised advice and counselling, attending medical appointments with anxious clients at both Broomfield and Braintree Hospital, helping with letterbox contact for individuals whose children have been adopted, and setting up utility services for those in new accommodation.
We have also supported an individual to write their life story for their Sanctus counselling session, attended multi-agency meetings as part of a tailored support package for several individuals with learning difficulties, neurodiversity diagnoses and those in addiction, and arranged for white goods to be delivered by our volunteers, from our lock up to individuals in need.
Our Trustees have been meeting even more regularly to ensure that Sanctus continues to operate successfully in the lead up to the winter period. With a rise in the number of daily services user visits, we must ensure that we are fully staffed with a skilled and confident team, and this includes recruiting for positions when team members move on.
The winter period is always our busiest season as people are cold, lonely and hungry. Those who have managed on the streets during the warm summer season understandably start to struggle and want assistance with housing and benefits applications. With the massive rise in energy bills, our own costs have risen drastically, and we are always looking for new and innovative ways to bring in funds to manage the ever-growing overheads.
We are grateful to our fantastic team of staff and volunteers who, without fail, go above and beyond every day to provide the very best service for those in need.
We would like to thankMcGovern & Co for their ongoing support of Sanctus.
Neil Mansell, a co-founder of the business, wanted to share this with our newsletter readers:
“My co-founder Brian McGovern was a great campaigner for the homeless community and contributor to local charities that were able to deliver help and support to the local homeless community. Brian made me aware of the work that Sanctus was doing. He was also supporting their work via his own support group that he co-founded called Cool To Be Kind. During the COVID period, Brian had a bench outside his own home and made sure it was regularly stocked with food and supplies from local businesses that people could take if they needed them.
Brian very sadly passed away in March this year and at his request, any donations from his funeral were to be directed towards the work that Sanctus do in Chelmsford.
As a local estate agency business on Moulsham Street, we chose to continue to support Sanctus with ongoing donations, and more recently have been able to generate extra funds via the sale of furniture from properties that we were selling in Chelmsford. This has also helped both the vendors, who were unable to get furniture cleared from their property and the buyers, who have purchased good quality furniture knowing that their money will be going to Sanctus and making a difference. As we continue to sell properties in Chelmsford we will continue with our donations.
I also have my own property lettings business in Chelmsford and donate to other homeless charities, so I am conscious of the need to be able to provide a roof over someone’s head or some essential support at the right time. By making these donations we can give back to those in need.”
Cheaper broadband and phone packages
Amid rising living costs, Ofcom is encouraging companies to offer social tariffs to help customers on low incomes continue to connect to the internet and have access to a phone.
Social tariffs are cheaper broadband and phone packages for people claiming Universal Credit, Pension Credit and some other benefits. Some providers call them essential or basic broadband. They’re delivered in the same way as normal packages – just at a lower price.
Sanctus has been chosen as the Essex Symphony Orchestra‘s charity of the year. They are planning to raise awareness and funds for Sanctus through their upcoming concert evenings.
PFE Express have taken part in the Three Peaks Challenge on behalf of four charities, including Sanctus. As a team, they not only managed to complete this amazing adventure, but they also raised £2,500 for each of the charities! We would like to say well done and thank you to the whole PFE team.
Sanctus would like to thank everyone who has supported us throughout 2022 and wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!