Marie-Claire Delbrouque is the MD of Hopestead, a charity which aims to end homelessness in the east of England. Here she explains why they want to build on last year’s inaugural Hope at Christmas campaign
Marie-Claire Delbrouque believes that everyone deserves a place to call home. She is the MD of Hopestead, a Norwich-based charity which aims to end homelessness in the East of England. And for the second year running she is calling on people in East Anglia to help spread Hope at Christmas and donate to an appeal that will once again be offering support to individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness this festive season.
For last year’s campaign, £1,300 was raised along with four van loads of food donations, sleeping bags and thermal clothing. In addition, 50 wellbeing packs containing toiletries and food vouchers were also created and delivered to local organisations.
This year, some of the local organisations which the Hopestead 2021 Christmas appeal will benefit include The Bus Shelter Ipswich, Food and Beverage Buggies in Norwich, Sanctus Chelmsford and Jimmy’s in Cambridge.
Marie-Claire says: ‘We are pleased to launch our second Hope at Christmas appeal, following on from last year’s incredible campaign when people so generously gave to support those who were experiencing homelessness. I’m so grateful to everyone who donated last year and made our appeal such a success.
‘This year’s appeal will ensure that Christmas hampers and stockings are delivered directly to those that need them, ensuring individuals, families, and children do not have to go without this Christmas.
‘Once again, this year, we’re so proud to be working with such amazing organisations who are making a difference in so many ways to support individuals and families this Christmas. These are charities, projects, and not for profit organisations that are there to lend a helping hand when it is most needed, and their support is invaluable.
‘If you can help with a donation, we would be so grateful. You will be helping us to help others, and together, we can make a difference.
‘No matter what time of the year, we are committed to working to alleviate homelessness across our region – it is our ambition to end homelessness. We believe everyone should have a warm, safe home.’
Last year, The Ipswich Night Shelter received a £500 donation through the Hope at Christmas appeal and Claire Jessup, Housing Manager with Selig, which runs the shelter, says: ‘We are so grateful to Hopestead for their donation of £500 which allowed us to buy slippers and nightwear for our guests. When our guests first arrive at the night shelter, we give them a welcome pack which includes new slippers and pyjamas. These basic home comforts help to make a guest feel welcome, comfortable, and accepted. Thank you Hopestead!’
And Wintercomfort for the homeless was another recipient of a donation. Melody Brooker, Fundraising and Communications Manager adds: ‘Hopestead’s very generous donation of £500 along with items of clothing for our homeless service users in December 2020 were a fantastic boost to our welfare costs at a time of great challenge amid the Covid pandemic and lockdown restrictions.
‘Christmas 2020 was an especially big challenge but, with the help of generous supporters including Hopestead, we were able to prepare and deliver special Christmas meals and gifts to all of our services users. We are incredibly grateful for Hopestead’s generosity and ongoing support of our work.’
This year, people will be able to donate a range of food, clothing and toys items that will be used to create hampers and gift packs that will be delivered directly to individuals and families in East Anglia. This will ensure that they reach people experiencing homelessness who may face barriers when accessing organised food provisions.
Members of the public can donate in several ways:
Purchase items from Hopestead’s Amazon Wishlist, live until December 5
Provide monetary donations via Hopestead’s Just Giving account
Or, drop off donations of food, clothes, and toys to a Hopestead van which will be located at Flagship offices between 10-11am on the following days:
- Monday December 6 – Tom Moore House, Cromer Road, North Walsham, NR28 0NB
- Tuesday December 7 – Michael Chaplin House, Station Road, Dereham, NR19 1DA
- Wednesday December 8 – Coppice House, 5 Greenwood Court, Bury St Edmunds, IP32 7GY
- Thursday December 9 – Cedar Lodge, Chiswick Avenue, Mildenhall, IP28 7BD
People can also drop into Hopestead’s King Street, Norwich head office with donations on December 10 when the team – including volunteers – will be picking and packing all hampers and gift boxes.
Featured image: Marie-Claire Delbrouque, MD of Hopestead (back row, right) with the team at last year’s Hope at Christmas appeal