Last month, as part of its Shoe Box Appeal, CHS Group, the Cambridge-based charitable housing association and social enterprise, collected more than 200 Christmas gifts which were donated to people in Cambridgeshire at risk of homelessness. Following the success of its inaugural Appeal, CHS Group has already started planning, and collecting donations, for Christmas 2020.

Due to the overwhelming response, CHS Group has been able to deliver gifts to all residents at its eight services for vulnerable people, as well as distributing them to other partner organisations in Cambridgeshire.

CHS Group runs five services in Cambridge, Ely and Wisbech that provide accommodation and support to 16-24-year olds who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness. Gifts were also delivered to CHS Group’s Russell Street service which provides accommodation and support for single adults (18-64) who have a learning disability, are on the autistic spectrum, or have acquired brain injuries and its Corona House service that offers accommodation and support to women aged 18-64 at risk of homelessness.

Breege Brandon, Community Support Manager, CHS Group, comments: “From all of us at CHS Group, and on behalf of our residents, we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone that donated a box to our Shoe Box Appeal before Christmas. This is the first time we’ve run the Appeal and the response truly has been overwhelming.

“Christmas can be a very difficult time of year for some of the residents using our services and it has been phenomenal to be able to provide vulnerable people across Cambridgeshire with not just the essentials they need, but the joy of knowing that there are people in the community who care about them and their situation.”

CHS Group offers community support services for people with a variety of needs and backgrounds, including: young people aged 16+ at risk of homeless; women at risk of homelessness due to mental ill health or domestic abuse; people with learning disabilities and autism; people with mental health needs; and former rough sleepers.