AN annual event to support the homeless and those facing hardship is set to help more people than ever before.
In Out of the Cold takes place at Newport Community Hub on Monday, December 18, and there’s still plenty of time to make a donation that could change a life.
The event – now in its eighth year – is coordinated by Middlesbrough Council with support from a range of statutory, private and voluntary sector organisations and members of the public.
The aim is to raise awareness about homelessness and hardship in the town as well as providing advice and support to those affected by housing and poverty issues in a relaxed and friendly environment.
Attendees are able to access a range of essentials and seasonal treats:
- Clean jumpers and coats
- Access to advice and information stalls
- Music, entertainment and raffle prizes
- Free haircuts from a hairdresser and barber.
Hot food is provided, as well as live music from local singers and a carol service.
Attendees are also given a Christmas gift box of donated items including hats, scarves, gloves and toiletries.
While Middlesbrough has seen a slight increase in the number of rough sleepers, these are generally a distinct group from those seen begging for money on the street.
Members of the public are advised not to give money, but rather let them know about the free services and support provided by Middlesbrough Council and its partners including emergency accommodation, free hoot food, showers and outreach.
Councillor Mick Thompson, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Culture and Communities, said: “Sadly there are those who, for a variety of often complex reasons, find themselves homeless or in severe hardship.
“That can be particularly difficult at this time of year, with temperatures plummeting and many us turning our thoughts towards the warmth of family and festive celebrations.
“In Out Of The Cold is a lifeline to those in need, and we’ve seen it make a real difference as the event has grown over recent years.
“It simply wouldn’t be possible without the fantastic support we get every year from local volunteers, businesses and members of the public.
“As well as offering much needed support, it’s also a chance to raise awareness of the issues around homelessness, poverty and social exclusion, and use this as a springboard for lasting change.”
Warm winter clothes and shoebox items can be donated as follows:
- Wrap Up Middlesbrough
Town Hall/Civic Centre
New Walk CIC, 24 Park Road North
Vancouver House, Gurney Street
Teesside University – Centuria South building (below the stairs) and Student Union building, first floor (near reception)
- Shoe Box Campaign
New Walk CIC
Teesside University (as above)
- For further information or details of how to help out at the event, email email@example.com or call 01642 728195
Further details can also be found at www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/inoutofthecold
Anyone with concerns about someone who may be sleeping rough can call Breaking the Boundaries on 01642 728766 or Street Wardens on 01642 228500.