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Following the success of our Shoe Box Appeal last year, we are running it again this Christmas to ensure all the young people living in our supported housing services will have a gift to open this Christmas. Last year, the only gift one of our residents received, was one of the boxes that had been donated which they saved to open on Christmas Day. 

This year, with the added Covid-19 restrictions, if you are unable to donate a box in person, you can make a donation on our JustGiving page www.justgiving.com/campaign/CHS-Shoe-Box-Appeal and we will use the funds to make up boxes on your behalf

In addition to the four services we run Cambridge, Ely and Wisbech that provide accommodation and support to vulnerable young 16 -24-year olds who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness, we also run three services in Cambridge that support women with mental health needs, young parents and their children and also people with learning disabilities and autism, all who are vulnerable and at risk of homelessness.

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In previous years, CHS staff and supporters have spent the night sleeping out in Cambridge city centre to raise valuable funds for the CHS Support Fund. The aim of the CHS Support Fund is to provide additional support for the residents in our services to cover the cost of essentials like emergency food supplies and dental treatment, travel expenses and supplies for college, and glasses and clothing needed for work. Our Shoe Box Appeal gives our supporters the opportunity to directly donate gifts to our residents.

Breege Brandon, Community Support Manager, CHS Group, comments: “Christmas can be a very difficult time of year for the young people living in our services. There is so much emphasis put on spending time with family and having fun, but some of our residents are no longer in contact with their family and don’t have the opportunity to experience this. In addition, there are many basic commodities that will typically be provided by families such as toiletries, dental care and college supplies. The Shoe Box Appeal enables us to provide our young people with the essentials they need, while showing them that there are people out there who care about them and their situation.”

What to do

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1. Wrap a box with Christmas paper or use a gift bag

2. Fill it with a variety of different items from the suggestion list

3. Include a card and message (optional)

4. Label the box if gender specific, leaving the box/gift bag unsealed

5. Drop the box off at any of our drop off locations

6. Or make a donation and we will make up a box for you 


Suggestions list

New/unopened toiletries—toothbrushes/paste, shampoo/conditioner, shower gel, hair gel, nail polish;  Clothing— hats, scarf, gloves, socks, underwear, pyjamas; Food—chocolate/sweets, biscuits; Stationary—pens, notepads;  Gift cards—supermarket or coffee shops; Strictly no alcohol, tobacco or cash please

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Drop Off Locations    16th November—17th December

Cambridge—Railway House, 128 Mill Road Cambridge CB1 2BQ & Russell Street, 82 Russell Street Cambridge CB1 2HU

Ely—One Wheatsheaf Close, Ely CB6 3YJ

Histon – CHS Group, Endurance House, Chivers Way, Histon CB24 9ZR (Mondays & Thursdays 9am—12pm only)

Wisbech— The Staithe, Holmes Drive, Wisbech Cambridgeshire PE13 3TJ

All staff accepting the shoe boxes will be wearing PPE and we ask you to leave the box at the door and kindly step back before the member of staff collects the box.  It will then be stored securely at the service for 72 hours before distributing to other local Supported Housing services.

If you would like to donate a £5 Pay It Forward gift voucher to one of our residents please visit http://www.pifgiftvouchers.org/ to find out more about this very worthwhile scheme.

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We would like to say a big Thank You to everyone who donated a Shoe Box last year and to everyone who has supported our residents this year during lockdown with incredibly generous donations.  Your donations really have made a huge difference to the lives of our residents during this difficult year.

For more information please email kristina.cairns@chsgroup.org.uk