A charity has launched its annual Christmas appeal as it prepares to lay on a festive dinner for homeless people across Northampton.
The Hope Centre, which is based in Oasis House, has seen a 20 per cent increase in the number of people using its services over the last year, and says this figure is likely to rise again during the winter.
The charity is now appealing for support for the Hope for Christmas 2013 campaign, during the most challenging season for charities helping the homeless and disadvantaged.
Mary Crook, spokesperson for the Hope Centre, said: “Although there are signs that the economy is improving, rising prices, static or falling incomes and changes in the benefits system mean that many people are still struggling to make ends meet.
“We see more than 100 people every day, and this number will certainly increase over the Christmas and New Year period. It is now costing us more than £20,000 per month to keep our doors open during the three-month peak winter period of December, January and February.
“As usual, the centre will be open over the holiday period, and on Christmas Day we expect to serve a dinner of roast turkey with all the trimmings to approximately 100 people. Presents will also be distributed to everyone who attends.
“We get fantastic support from all our volunteers, many of who give up their time to help during the festive period, and there is always a wonderful family atmosphere in the Centre throughout Christmas and New Year.
“Christmas can be a very challenging time for the homeless, as it reminds them of everything that is missing from their lives, which most of us take for granted. Many of our clients would be on their own and very miserable if we weren’t here for them at Christmas and New Year.”
You can give to the appeal online at www.justgiving.com/christmashope2013, or by texting XMAS66 and an amount to 70070.