Appeal by Worthing charity to give the gift of a festive meal to town’s homelessness this Christmas

Turning Tides Pull Up a Chair campaign
Turning Tides Pull Up a Chair campaign

A Worthing homeless charity is appealing to the public to donate £35 to enable a homeless man or woman to ‘pull up a chair’ around the Christmas table – providing them a festive meal, company, warmth and support during the festive period.

Turning Tides, which supports hundreds of people throughout the year, has said donations from kind-hearted members of the public will also enable people who are homeless to have a hot shower and fresh clean clothes.

The charity, based at the town hall, said that those living on the street, sleeping in a cold dark alleyway, taking shelter in the woods or constantly on the move for fear of being abused are often not looking forward to the next day, let alone Christmas.

Chief executive John Holmstrom said: “Christmas is often the toughest time for people are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Physically, financially and emotionally it represents a real and desperate challenge.

“Nearly half of our clients have a mental health diagnosis. We must never underestimate how essential support services, such as ours are.

Paul a previous client of Turning Tides often felt ‘despised, avoided or even abused’ whilst living on the streets.

He said ‘any small act of kindness or human warmth’ provided such a ‘valuable form of sustenance to a suffering homeless person’.

The charity said members of the public, businesses, community groups can now individually and collectively show people whose lives have deteriorated into homelessness compassion this Christmas.

For £35 you can ‘pull up a chair’ or for £70 two chairs, for a homeless man or woman in your community to help them feel safe, warm and cared for.

Lucy Knowles, community fundraising manager, said: “This is the season of giving and what better way to make a difference with your pounds than to secure a place for someone around our dining table.

For our clients, knowing they can be safe and warm indoors away from the coldest weather of the year, being assured a hot healthy meal to eat in comfort with company and support to find the belief in themselves a brighter future is ahead of them is vital. For some, it could be the first step out of homelessness.”

You can make a donation over the phone on 01903 680740 or online at www.justgiving.com/campaign/Pull-Up-A-Chair-Appeal

For more information call Turning Tides on 01903 680740, email fundraising@turning-tides.org.uk or pop along to its office at Worthing Town Hall, open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.