WARMTH, 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 is this year hosted by The Salvation Army in Southfield Road on Tuesday, December 20 from 1pm to 3pm.
The annual event has been going since 2010, and is coordinated by Middlesbrough Council but is also made possible through the kind donations and volunteering 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 issues in the town as well as providing advice and support to people affected by housing and poverty issues, in a relaxed and friendly environment.
Hot food is provided, as well as live music from local singers and a carol service.
Attendees are also given a Christmas gift box, which is made up from donations and includes items such as hats, scarves, gloves and toiletries.
There is also a stall giving out coats and jumpers.
While Middlesbrough does not have many rough sleepers, there are a lot of people in insecure housing situations, such as sofa surfing, which in some cases may also be classed as homelessness.
The Council and its partners offer outreach, accommodation and support to all those affected with housing need issues, as well as those experiencing other forms of hardship.
There have also been increases in street activity from single people with complex needs over recent months, meaning support offered through In Out of the Cold and the Shoebox Appeal is really helpful.
Organisations supporting this year’s event include:
Middlesbrough & Teesside Philanthropic Foundation
Cleveland Fire Brigade
SWITCH Project/NACRO Homes Agency
My Sister’s Place
Erimus Housing & Thirteen Group
Royal British Legion
New Walk CIC
South Tees Youth Offending Service
Middlesbrough Council staff
Councillor Mick Thompson, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Communities and Public Health, said: “In Out Of The Cold is a festive, positive event for the more excluded people of Middlesbrough, including those who are homeless or suffering other forms of hardship.
“We hope that it will raise awareness of some of the issues around homelessness, poverty and social exclusion, as well as being a good way to let people know of the many organisations in Middlesbrough who are able to help them.
“It’s good to see so many organisations and members of the public offering their time, or making donations, to make the event possible.”
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