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Extra support on offer for people who are homeless this Christmas

Published on Friday, December 16, 2022

4 minute read

Dawn Centre

WARM and friendly places to meet, hot meals and Christmas dinners are being offered to people who are homeless, and other vulnerable people, over the festive period.

Local charities, faith groups, the city council and other organisations in Leicester will be providing a wide range of services throughout the festive period to help ensure that anyone at risk of sleeping rough can get the support they need but also enjoy some Christmas cheer.

A full programme of support and activities has been coordinated by Leicester’s Homelessness Charter, which brings together a range of local organisations working together to tackle homelessness in the city.

Cllr Elly Cutkelvin, assistant city mayor for housing, said: “Our aim is to ensure that no-one needs to sleep rough at any time of the year and our Dawn Centre is open every day – including Christmas day – to offer emergency accommodation and support.

“Local charities and faith groups in Leicester provide invaluable support all year round and at Christmas they go the extra mile to make sure that some of the most vulnerable people in the city can have a Christmas meal and enjoy good company in a warm and welcoming place.

“We’re very grateful for the work they do and to Leicester’s Homelessness Charter which helps bring together these fantastic organisations. It really does make a huge difference to people’s lives and is needed more than ever at this time of the year.

“Unfortunately, sometimes people will refuse our offers of help – even when its freezing – but outreach support will be running seven days a week and will persist in getting everyone in and making sure that they receive the support they need.”

Rebecca Pawley, project coordinator for Leicester’s Homelessness Charter, said "Leicester's Homelessness Charter was established to bring those who work with people experiencing homelessness together in partnership. It is really heart-warming to see organisations working closely to ensure that anyone experiencing homelessness or rough sleeping will be able to find a place of warmth and safety, access support and enjoy some festivity."

Services and extra support on offer for homeless people, rough sleepers and vulnerably housed people over the Christmas period include:

The Dawn Centre, in Conduit Street, will be open every day throughout the Christmas and New Year period.

Help the Homeless, in Abbey Street, will be providing help with food, clothing and toiletries, as well as guidance and advice on an appointment basis. It will also be open on Friday 23 December (from 12noon-4pm) for warm food, mince pies and hot chocolate.

The Bridge Homelessness to Hope charity, 43 Melton Street, offers hot food in a warm and friendly place to meet and chat on weekdays (except Wednesdays, and both bank holiday Mondays) from 9.30am to 2pm. It will also be hosting a special lunch on Christmas Day from 10am to 2.30pm. For details email David@BridgeLeicester.org

Rachel’s Table will be offering food, hot drinks, toiletries and other essentials from its base in Calais Hill throughout the festive period. It will be open on Mondays, Thursday, Saturdays and Sundays (except Christmas day) from 3.30-4.30pm. It will also be offering a Christmas meal on Thursday 22 December from 3.30-4.30pm.

Triangle at Holy Trinity Church, off Upper King Street, will be offering a Christmas meal, with gifts and a food hamper, on Friday 16 December from 6.30pm. The group will also be offering a free hot evening meal on Friday 23 December from 6.15pm, and runs a foodbank on Wednesday mornings from Turner Street Rooms (closed on 30 December).

Midland Langar Seva Society (MLSS) will be providing freshly cooked hot meals from the following three locations over Christmas and New Year:

  • Wesley Hall, 76 Hartington Road – Friday (16 Dec), Monday (19 Dec), Wednesday (21 Dec), Friday (23 Dec), Wednesday (28 Dec) and Friday (30 Dec) from 12noon-1pm.
  • St Peter’s Highfields Church – Saturday (17 Dec), Saturday (31 Dec) and Sunday (1 Jan) from 5.30-6pm
  • St Margaret’s Church, St Margaret’s Way – Sunday (1 Jan) from 5.30-6pm

MLSS will also be offering a takeaway festive meal, with Santa hats and treats, from St Peter’s Highfields Church on Christmas Eve (5.30-6pm) and Christmas Day (11.30am-12noon)

Robert Hall Memorial Church, 147 Narborough Road, will be providing a warm festive dinner on Wednesday 21 December from 5pm, and a takeaway Christmas meal on Christmas Day, from 11.30am.

No5, at 5 Hill Street, and The Y Support project, 165 Granby Street, will be offering flexible access arrangements for support, advice and guidance over Christmas and New Year, with a free breakfast available for rough sleepers.

To help identify people who are sleeping rough, the city council’s homelessness outreach team is out in the early hours seven days a week, ready to offer a bed and other support.

Full and up-to-date details of all services available over the festive period, including opening times and addresses, are available online at www.leicester.gov.uk/homelessservices and at www.leicesterhomelessnesscharter.co.uk

If you’re concerned about someone sleeping rough, you can report it online at streetlink.org.uk and the city council will send an outreach team to offer a bed and any other help they may need.

Anyone who has been made homeless or is rough sleeping can call the city council on 0116 454 1008 during working hours from Monday to Friday. This will enable a homeless prevention officer to properly assess their needs.

In an emergency situation only – at weekends and out of hours – people can call the Dawn Centre on 0116 221 2770.