Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 15.56.41WARMTH, cheer and support will be on offer to those suffering homelessness and hardship in Middlesbrough at a special event later this month.

And members of the local community are once again being asked to do their bit to help those who have fallen on hard times.

In Out of the Cold returns to Middlesbrough Town Hall Crypt for a sixth year on Tuesday, December 15 from 1pm to 3pm.

The event provides a warm welcome, companionship, advice and assistance in a relaxed and friendly environment in a bid to help the rising number of people experiencing financial hardship.

As always there will be hot food laid on by White’s Café, entertainment including live music and a carol service and shoeboxes filled with essentials.

The event is co-ordinated by Middlesbrough Council but is only possible thanks to the donations and volunteers from a wide range of statutory, private and voluntary sector organisations, local businesses and members of the public.

This year’s Shoe Box Appeal is being co-ordinated by social housing provider New Walk – members of the public are invited to donate filled, wrapped boxes to be given out to those attending the event.

Items needed include hats, scarves, gloves, socks, toiletries (excluding razors), lip balm, tissues and sanitary items.

Sharon Caddell, Middlesbrough Council’s Homelessness Co-ordinator, said: “Rather than giving money to people street begging, In Out of the Cold ensures people’s generous donations get right to where they’ll make a real difference.

“In addition to much-needed essentials, a whole range of organisations are there to provide advice, information and assistance in a welcoming environment right in the heart of Middlesbrough.

“It’s a chance to tackle poverty and accommodation problems while giving people something to eat and the sort of gifts that really help at what can be a particularly difficult time of year.”

Councillor Mick Thompson, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Communities and Public Health, said: “We are currently undergoing a period of unprecedented austerity, and that is having a devastating impact on those who find themselves on the margins of society.

“There are also a great many people who want to help the homeless, those in hardship and suffering other issues of social exclusion – and In Out of the Cold gives them the chance to do just that.

“It’s fantastic to see so many businesses, charities, voluntary sector organisations and members of the community either volunteering or making donations – it’s what makes this important event possible.”

For further information, or if you would like to help out with the event, please email Sharon_caddell@middlesbrough.gov.uk

Further details can also be found at www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/inoutofthecold

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