Volunteers support Havering's homelessness charities this Christmas
PUBLISHED: 16:00 01 January 2020
Homeless people in the borough were served a special three-course Christmas dinner as part of a series of charity events by Havering Council and its housing developer partner.
Havering Council and Wates Residential set out to bring seasonal cheer to the most vulnerable residents in the borough with a series of festive events and activities.
On December 10, 13 volunteers from the council, Wates Residential and the Romford Salvation Army cooked a three-course meal for 27 homeless people.
The Havering demolition subcontractor Downwell also donated 60 tins of chocolates for each volunteer to take away with them.
Wates Residential and the Rainham-based demolition contractor, Kilnbridge, assisted Hope4Havering's night shelter with finding donations for the charity's Christmas collection.
The volunteers collected £400 worth of food and the shelter continues to appeal for more contributions including store cupboard goods like pasta, cereal, coffee and tinned vegetables.
Speaking about the Kilnbridge volunteers, Carol Baker from the Hope4Havering charity, said: "We are truly grateful and overwhelmed by your kind and exceptionally generous act.
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"You have provided hot meals for 30 people for at least 20 days and added bonus of luxury items too such as the coffee and biscuits and hot chocolate, which constitute luxury items."
More than 40 volunteers from Romford's Salvation Army were rewarded for their efforts with a festive meal from the housing developer.
Mark Cozens, church leader at the Salvation Army, said: "The Salvation Army works all year round to serve and enhance our local community so it was a real pleasure to have the volunteers from Wates Residential and Havering Council supply and serve our guests both at the homeless drop-in Christmas lunch and the volunteer celebration."
A separate event with Harold Hill's St Thomas Church on December 14 saw 30 Havering residents living with disabilities, along with their carers, enjoy a Christmas lunch and fun day at St George's Parish Centre in Farnham Road.
"Christmas can be one of the hardest times of year for residents living with additional needs, or rough sleeping," said Kate Ives, development director at Wates Residential.
"As an industry, it is important that we continue to look at what more we can do to help address homelessness, and support those who are vulnerable."
Councillor Robert Benham, deputy leader of Havering Council, added: "Events like these are a fantastic example of how regeneration can go far beyond building new homes. We are proud to be working with our joint venture partners to support not only our vulnerable residents, but the volunteers who work tirelessly to help them throughout the year.
"We have just launched a consultation on our new Homelessness Prevention and Rough Sleeper strategy, which sets out our plan to tackle homelessness in our borough.
"I'd urge you all to have your say and help us to help the most vulnerable members of our community."