As Christmas time draws nearer, we’re reflecting on 2022 and the hard work of our team. We have a lovely team of volunteers who work tirelessly to cook hot meals in our kitchen, keep the centre clean and tidy and help and support our homeless clients 365 days a year. After four years of volunteering with Catching Lives, one of our long-standing volunteers, Sally has decided to move on to help providing lunches in her village. Here’s a photo of her on her last day.
Four years of volunteering is a great achievement and we’re so grateful to Sally for her time and for being a part of our team. If you have time to replace Sally as a kitchen volunteer, please get in touch with Ruth at firstname.lastname@example.org for an informal chat and application.
For World Homeless Day this year, once again, we put out tents out on Rheims Way to raise awareness of homelessness in the local area. This colourful addition to the busy road always draws plenty of attention and this year was no different. Our volunteers were out in force at Morrisons, raising awareness with their collection tins and we held an exhibition of client artwork and our photography competition entries at St Peter’s Church at the end of October, where the winners collected their prizes and we sold copies of the finished calendar.
The calendar is available to purchase via our website and at various events throughout the season. If you would like to buy one, please do so here.
Over recent years, the Canterbury Residents Group on Facebook have run a fundraiser for Catching Lives and this year, they have set a target of £4,000 to raise money to help us to provide vital winter services to our clients. Edd Withers has created a JustGiving page here to encourage donations and this dedicated group have already raised £620 in less than two weeks. If you’re from the Canterbury area and haven’t joined the group, it’s full of community discussions and events throughout the year. Check in out here. Thank you to Edd Withers and everyone in the group for your support.
We have once again been contacted by local churches and schools to ask about the kinds of items that are useful to clients at this time of year and we have put together a list for any shoebox collections or reverse advents that the local community might wish to donate.
Gift Box/Care Packages:
- New socks or underwear (male and female)
- Baby wipes
- Tissues (small pocket sized packs)
- Hair gel
- Nail scissors
- Hand Cream
- Bottles or cartons of water/juice/squash
- Treat items- chocolate, crisps, cereal bars, etc
- Batteries (AA and AAA)
- Waterproof ponchos/foil blankets
Other Useful Items
- Gift Vouchers (Argos, Tesco, Dunelm Mill)
- Flasks/ reusable water bottles
- Mobile phone credit vouchers (for our clients to stay in touch with support services)
Many of our clients move into unfurnished houses and do not have the basic essentials needed to maintain accommodation. We do not give vouchers directly to clients and they are used to buy items for clients when setting up a new home such as bedding, cutlery etc. Please note, we do not have space to store large items at our day centre in anticipation of need, so vouchers are especially useful.
You can find a downloadable poster with details full details for any appeals here.
Get your singing voices ready – the annual Family Carol Concert held by the City of Canterbury Chamber Choir is on 17th December 2022 at 12 Noon at St Paul’s Church, Church Street, Canterbury. Tickets are £10 and £5 for children and there will be a retiring collection for Catching Lives. Tickets are available here, or on the door and we’ll be there, selling merchandise, including the 2023 Calendar, featuring photographs taken by Canterbury school students. We look forward to seeing you there!
Nathan Davies (pictured left) recently ran two marathons, one being the brutal Beachy Head Marathon and the other running 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours. This is a huge achievement and he smashed his target, raising £880 for Catching Lives. Thank you so much Nathan, we really appreciate the support.
Finally this month, we received a Christmas cake from Christine (pictured right) who baked this beautiful cake for the staff and volunteers to enjoy throughout the Christmas season. Thank you very much Christine.
At this time of year, we very much appreciate all of the support we receive, whether it’s item donations, fundraisers, or donations. If would like to make a donation to support our cause this Christmas, you can do so here.
Thanks as always for reading our newsletter!