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Catching Lives Latest News: December 2023

Dr David Flood conducts Canterbury Chamber Choir’s Christmas concert at St Paul’s

Good news from Catching Lives

In this December update from Catching Lives, we are absolutely thrilled to share the news with you that we are going to be extending our Day Centre opening hours this winter. We can’t share all the details yet, but we are busy finalising the logistics of opening into the evening from January to March. This means people experiencing homelessness in Canterbury and East Kent will be able to access essential services and keep warm during the colder months. We are so grateful to everyone who has helped make this possible and will share more on the news as soon as we can. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more frequent updates.

Winter Appeal update

This heartening news comes after we launched our Winter Appeal to raise £50,000 to help people who are homeless and we want to thank everyone who has donated or spread the news of our appeal. As we write to you now, we have raised more than £20,000 towards the target and the JustGiving campaign page will continue to run. We appreciate every donation – whether it’s £1 or £1,000. Your donation has made a real difference to helping our small charity at a really challenging time. We have been really moved by all your messages of support, thank you.

Some big thank yous

It’s been another busy month at Catching Lives and there are so many people we would like to thank. Thank you to everyone who has arranged or attended a festive event – from quizzes to carol services. Canterbury Chamber Choir’s Christmas Concert at St Paul’s (pictured above) raised an incredible £988. White Paper Pen raised £555 for us at the Folkestone Art Shop and a big thank you to Canterbury Academy and St Edmund’s Juniors for raising money at their Christmas Fairs. Thank you to Becky Barnes (aka B) for raising more than £1,000 towards our Winter Appeal with her cold water sea swims and to Rock Paper Scissors for the fabulous advent window displays and student art auction. You can bid on student art until Christmas Eve via the Rock Paper Scissors Facebook page.

And more

The legacy of former volunteer Tracy Claridge continues to live on thanks to several generous donations from his friends at Benenden both on the JustGiving page and offline. Thank you to the Forest of Blean Rotary for its £500 donation to our Winter Appeal and to Search Seven and Annie Wood for raising more than £1,800. Also, Canterbury BID’s quiz and raffle raised more than £700. Thank you to all the individuals and community groups who have donated money and items.

At this time of year, we have extra volunteers preparing for Christmas Day, when clients can have breakfast, a Christmas lunch and receive a gift bag. Thank you so much to all our volunteers who keep our kitchen and bookshop running all year round. Thank you to everyone who has volunteered their time in any way, including projects, workshops and activities this year. If you’d like to support us this Christmas, we would welcome donations of Christmas treats, such as mince pies, biscuits and puddings ahead of Christmas Day. Donations can be dropped in any day between 9am and 4pm. If you’re in need of some last minute Christmas shopping, do pop along to our bookshop at The Crooked House in Palace Street, where things are feeling very festive (see below).

Wishing you a peaceful rest of the year, however you mark it, and we look forward to connecting with you in 2024. From everyone at Catching Lives.

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Donate to Catching Lives Winter Appeal via JustGiving.

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