Tuesday 23 December 2014

Christmas arrived early this week for some of the most vulnerable families in Sheffield.

TARAs from across the city have helped raise an incredible £2,200 to make sure every child in Sheffield City Council’s temporary accommodation receives a gift from Father Christmas. Kier Services also donated £500 and the combined money has also funded much needed food hampers and toiletries for 100 adults.

Cllr Harry Harpham, Cabinet Member for Homes and Neighbourhoods, said:

“The generosity shown by TARAs, local communities and Kier Services has been incredible. This overwhelming donation meant that not only were the families provided with Christmas gifts and essentials, but they were also given an additional gift for their child to be given on Christmas Day.

“The gifts and hampers were given at a Christmas grotto which was such an exciting experience for the children, some who had never had never had a visit from Father Christmas before.”

Charlene Thompson and her two children were at the temporary accommodation site and got to meet Santa and his little helpers. Nine weeks ago Charlene fled a domestically violent situation which saw her homeless. She turned up at Howden House with her two young daughters with nothing but the clothes they were wearing.

Charlene is incredibly grateful to the temporary accommodation team who have supported her throughout this difficult period in her life. She’ll be spending Christmas with her parents and will be moving into her new house with her daughters Faith (3) and Ellie (8) in January to make a fresh start. Ms Thompson said;

“Initiatives like the Christmas gifts donations are so important. It’s meant that my girls won’t miss out this year when they’re too young to understand why they wouldn’t have got presents.

“Due to circumstances outside of my control I found myself and my two daughters homeless. Nine weeks ago I arrived at Howden House with nothing. I’m so thankful to everyone in the service who have helped me get through the last nine weeks.

“Staff have been fantastic, they’ve supported me and my children and I’m looking forward to a fresh start in January when we can move into my new home. I have gained a lot more confidence and now feel more positive about the future.”