Christmas may be a time of presents, decorating the tree and big turkey feasts, but it's also a time of giving and remembering those less fortunate than ourselves.
If you'd like to give back this festive season, then one thoroughly deserving charity is the amazing Buses4Homeless, a holistic solution to homelessness in London that refurbishes decommissioned buses into spaces for eating, sleeping, wellbeing and learning.
The brainchild of Dan Atkins, who was spurred on to help after discovering a friend sleeping rough, the charity first opened the doors of its buses in December 2019 with the mission to transform the lives of homeless people in the capital. To date, they have got 63% of their guests into work and their own private rented accommodation, which is absolutely fantastic.
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But then COVID-19 struck, and the charity, like many others has been struggling to find funding. Facing particular hardship is the Buses4Homeless Community Outreach Bus which hands out essentials to the homeless, such as masks, hand sanitiser, clothes, beanies, gloves, socks and care packages (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, tissues etc).
The community outreach bus costs about £1000 a month to run and the charity desperately needs more funds to keep it going. They have set up a Just Giving page with a target of 30k to fund both the buses project and community bus for the next year.
Buses4Homeless' Community Outreach Bus
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Henrietta MacEwen from Buses4Homeless told HELLO!: "The Buses4Homeless Community Outreach Bus is so important to the vulnerable and homeless community. This community needs help and support especially now that it is winter and not as many overnight shelters being open due to Covid-19.
"All of us at Buses4Homeless thank you in advance in helping us raise funds to keep this vital service out there keeping the vulnerable and homeless safe and going into 2021.
The Community Outreach bus is a vital lifeline to many
"Someone who visited our Community Outreach Bus said on Monday night: 'Just seeing this bus and knowing you can help makes all the difference. I feel relief knowing you are there and you have the time to listen to me'.
"We are all part of this big community in London, so let's keep this bus going and your help and support will make us keep ringing the B4H Community Outreach Bus bell!"
To donate visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/buses-4-homeless