Taking a break from our annual Sponsored Sleep Out, this Christmas we are launching our Shoe Box Appeal to raise donations for young homeless people who live in CHS supported housing.

CHS runs five services in 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.

CHS Group Raise The Roof Sleep Out Cambridge December 2017
CHS staff & MP Daniel Zeichner taking part in a sponsored Sleep Out Cambridge to raise funds for CHS Support Fund

Previously our staff and supporters have spent the night sleeping out in Cambridge city centre to raise much needed funds for our CHS Support Fund https://www.justgiving.com/chs-group but this year we wanted to give people the opportunity to directly donate gifts to our young people.  The aim of the CHS Support Fund is to provide additional support for young people in CHS’s 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 as well as offering general help when the unexpected happens.

Breege Brandon, CHS Community Support Manager, 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 young people 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. With the introduction of the Shoe Box Appeal we will be able 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.”

CHS is reaching out to the local communities in Cambridge, Ely and Wisbech to ask for people to help support with the appeal. If you would like to take part, you will need to:

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

2. Fill it with a variety of different items—see our suggestion list

3. Include a card and message

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

Suggestion List

· New/unopened toiletries—toothbrushes/paste, shampoo/conditioner, shower gel, hair gel, nail polish

· Clothing i.e. 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

There are four Drop Off locations

Cambridge—Railway House, 128 Mill Road Cambridge CB1 2BQ

Ely—One Wheatsheaf Close, Ely CB6 3YJ

Histon—CHS Group. Endurance House, Chivers Way, Histon CB24 9ZR

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

We will distribute any surplus boxes to other young people’s services within Cambridgeshire.

The deadline for dropping off boxes to one of our locations is Friday December 13th – Thank you.