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Christmas shoppers raise over £29,000 for the local homeless

PUBLISHED: 15:10 17 January 2018 | UPDATED: 15:29 17 January 2018

From left to right, Jo Spencer, Derek Player, the Dean and, Christina Martin started the collection outside Tesco on Harford Road. Photo: St Martins

From left to right, Jo Spencer, Derek Player, the Dean and, Christina Martin started the collection outside Tesco on Harford Road. Photo: St Martins

St Martins

The St Martins Housing Trust which helps homeless people in Norfolk has raised more than £29,000 from its pre-Christmas street collection.

Every year a dedicated team of volunteers take to the streets of Norwich during December to raise vital funds to support the charity and provide services for local homeless people throughout the year.

The total raised from the 2017 pre-Christmas street collection was £29,279,01.

There has been an increase in rough sleeping across the UK, with East Anglia having the third highest numbers after London and the West Midlands.

St Martins is responding to the crisis and all money raised will go towards facilities for an additional seven rough sleepers at the charity’s Bishopbridge House hostel.

New CEO, Dr Jan Sheldon, said: “Since joining St Martins earlier this month I have been amazed and humbled by the hard work, passion and dedication of our team of volunteers. Together with the trustees I look forward to maintaining and developing the work we do.

“The weather was unkind to us in the run up to Christmas but still so many people gave up their time to stand on the cold streets of Norwich to collect money to support our important work.

“The trustees and I could not be more grateful for this support and for the generous donations we received. I am extremely proud to be the new chief executive of this great charity and I look forward to working with everyone who provides their support to deliver our services to the people who need them.

“As a local person St Martins is an organisation I have admired for years. The work the charity does has been important for so many years and given the increase in homelessness our work will become even more critical.”

Rough sleeping is the most obvious form of homelessness, but in addition to hostel accommodation, St Martins provides support for vulnerable people who are at risk of losing their tenancies and for those in temporary housing. A range of training and educational opportunities are provided to people who have experienced homelessness to assist them to maintain their independence.

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