Appeal asks Lichfield shoppers to help the homeless and families in need at Christmas

Shoppers are being urged to give a gift and support homeless people and families struggling this Christmas.

The appeal has been launched by the Three Spires Shopping Centre on behalf of the East Staffordshire YMCA.

Three Spires Shopping Centre manager Lisa Prokopiou with Andy Horsnail, Emily Sendell and Natasha Aishford of the YMCA launching their Christmas present campaign in Lichfield

Three Spires Shopping Centre manager Lisa Prokopiou with Andy Horsnail, Emily Sendell and Natasha Aishford of the YMCA launching their Christmas present campaign in Lichfield

People can leave parcels at the centre’s management office, with donations distributed by the charity to those in need and at a Christmas day dinner for homeless people.

Ell Warrener from the YMCA said: “We are asking for a variety of things really – Christmas gifts, toiletries, novelty items, things specifically for young people. Really, we’d like anything that might make Christmas a bit more special for the people we care for.

“The donations will primarily go to our clients in the 71 accommodation units we run, which are a mixture of adults and young people in crisis and from all kinds of backgrounds.

“We try to give a helping hand to anyone in the community who has a need or is vulnerable. It is a very difficult time of year for so many people.

“If they are on their own it can be incredibly lonely and we want to make it less so wherever we can.”

As the charity deal with many suffering from addictions, no alcohol can be donated which includes liqueur chocolates, but other treats are welcome.

People are asked not to wrap gifts so they can been checked and allocated appropriately – but they are looking for donations of paper and gift bags too.

Three Spires Shopping Centre manager Lisa Prokopiou said: “We are happy to help the YMCA with their Christmas collection, and we are grateful to our customers who support campaigns like this with pure generosity.

“It can be such a difficult time of year for so many people and this gives us all a great opportunity to remember those in our community Christmas is a time for giving, and so on behalf of the centre team, I would like to thank you in advance for your kindness and support.”

As well as collecting gift parcels, the YMCA will be holding a Christmas dinner at its Burton branch for people who would otherwise be alone on the day.

They are also appealing for donations of non-food items to help them lay on a feast such as table decorations, Christmas hats and crackers.

As well as delivering the gift parcels to those using their accommodation, the YMCA team will also add some presents to the packages collected at their food bank.

Ell added: “We hand out about 100 food parcels a month to people in the community who come to our food bank, and we’ve had a great response from people donating food for that.

“For a lot of people, using a food bank is an incredibly hard thing to do so we’d like to put a little gift in with their collection, just to try and make it feel a bit more festive for them.

“Through various agencies we have a lot of contacts with a lot of different people with very different needs – but everyone wants to get a gift at Christmas.”

Gifts and donations for the YMCA can be left at the Three Spire’s management office in Gresley Row until December 16.

Advertisements
Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.