homeless charity Chelmsford is a place not unlike many others across the country: quiet, populated, orderly, and orderly. Jay Welham, a 48-year-old native of Chelmsford, will exchange his warm, comfortable bed for the cold hard ground of the Lawford Dale estate on November 28th. The proud resident of Colchester, where he grew up, will join local social worker Luke Goldie McKinley, of New Town, with a plan to raise funds for homeless charity Chelmsford. “This is going to be a big help,” he said.
According to its official website, the charity “provides a range of accommodation and services to people in need”. One of these is an annual Christmas street festival. It is a grand affair that see cars and trucks racing down the street to Christmas concerts, street fairs, charity shopping and street performers. It has been running for 30 years and is always well worth a visit, even if you don’t live in Chelmsford. If you do, however, it will certainly be worth a visit while you’re there. And if you do, you may just raise some money along the way!
The festival is open to anyone who lives or works in Chelmsford. It has been running for three decades, so more people than ever before are able to take part in the events, which are organized by volunteers. However, this year, according to organizer Mike Thompson, who has been in charge of the Street Festival for three decades, it’s unlikely that as many people will turn up. He attributes this in part to the financial recession. He says that he hoped to make it a once-a-week affair instead of a once-a-month one, but unfortunately, the weather is set to affect the numbers this time of year.
A spokesman for homeless shelters in Chelmsford tells the Daily Mail that they are particularly worried about the upcoming Christmas season. “We know that Christmas can be a tough time for families on our streets, particularly for those with young children and elderly people in the home. This year we are especially focused on the homeless charity centres in our area, which are seeing a rise in applications this year compared to last year. That means that more people are at risk this winter.”
According to Mike Thompson the manager of a homeless charity centre in Chelmsford, “We know that the people coming to the charity centre for help are often in genuine need, but there are still some families who come looking for a warm, dry place to sleep that doesn’t have a sofa. “We want to ensure that those coming to us have a warm dry bed to sleep on, so when they do come and say they need our help, it is our priority to give it to them. The most appealing thing about camping beds is that they offer a quick and easy solution to a person’s problems.” Mr. Thompson went on to say: “Christmas is a busy time of year for our centre. Our outreach workers will also need to focus on ensuring that they have a number of warm and dry beds to offer visitors, as the weather gets colder.”
So, how is the city of Chelmsford hoping to combat the issue of street camping this Christmas? According to its Street Festival organiser Melvyn Bragg, the event is “part of a much wider plan to tackle the problem of homelessness and make life easier for people that live rough on the streets”. This year the Street Festival will take place in the Town’s Exhibition Space. For more information contact the charity. The Street festival is open to the public from Friday, December 8th until Sunday, January 3rd.
Homeless charity volunteers are out visiting local businesses to hand out promotional literature and offer up warm woolens to those that need it. The charity centre has also announced that from Friday, December 8th to Sunday, January 3rd they will be conducting a homeless charity carwash. They hope that this will help to raise awareness in the local area. Mr Bragg concluded by saying: “This Christmas we want to reach out to those families who are experiencing the challenge of finding a home and just living. We know that nobody deserves to be living on the streets, but by helping out those families who are in this situation we are giving them a gift.”
If you live in the Chelmsford area and would like to help out those less fortunate then why not make a difference by volunteering for the homeless shelters. If you live in or near Milton Keynes and are looking for a charity that helps the homeless in Chelmsford and nearby areas, then get in touch with Chelmsford City council who are running a number of homeless shelters and also a homeless charity. To find out more visit the city council’s website. You could make a real difference to someone’s life.