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New campaign launched to help York charity Carecent aid those in need
YORK residents are being urged to get behind a new campaign to support a city-centre charity that provides breakfast for homeless and disadvantaged York residents.
People across the city are asked to consider buying and donating a few extra items when they go shopping, to help ensure Carecent has enough food to cover the next 12 months.
The charity in St Saviourgate provides breakfasts, toiletries, clothing and information for people in need six days a week, 52 weeks a year, but has seen demand rise during the economic crisis.
It receives generous donations through annual harvest appeals by schools and churches but has faced an anxious wait each summer to see whether stocks will last the year.
Although supplies of some foodstuffs such as tea bags are healthy, others such as beans and tinned fruit are very low.
The Press, Carecent and City of York Council have now teamed up to launch York Harvest, enabling those not linked with an existing harvest collection to help more easily and to give exactly what the charity needs.
It is the latest practical step in the ongoing anti-poverty work by The Press and the council.
The Press will accept donations at our offices in Walmgate and the council will do likewise at its West Offices headquarters in Station Rise and at the Community Equipment Loan Service.
Nicky Gladstone, project leader at Carecent, said the public had been very generous last year but rising demand meant all the food donated then had now gone.
In recent years the charity has sometimes had to dip into funds it scarcely has to top up donations.
She said: “We are immensely grateful to all of the individuals, schools, churches and other organisations whose generosity enables us to keep on meeting the needs of the most vulnerable members of our society.
“Harvest is the time when we make our annual appeal – stocks are running low, our storeroom shelves are empty once again and we are once again appealing for help. Last year we were overwhelmed by the generous donations we received and it would be wonderful to be able to say the same this year.”
Gavin Aitchison, news editor of The Press, said: “Carecent does fantastic work with people in real need and it would be fantastic to give them the reassurance that they have all they need for the next year.
“We launched our Stamp Out Poverty campaign last year to help raise awareness of the difficulties many are facing and to provide practical support, and we are glad to be able to help in this way.”
Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, the city council’s poverty champion, said: “We are delighted to support Carecent. Much of their excellent work goes unnoticed in the city but they make a huge and positive difference to the lives of residents who use their services.”
He said the council would also run an internal campaign to encourage staff to donate items to support Carecent.
Kersten England, council chief executive, said the local authority had supported the foodbank and welcomed the opportunity to support Carecent too. She said: “I am delighted at the momentum that is gathering around the anti-poverty campaign and I am proud of the role that the council is taking.”
Carecent is free and open to anyone as long as they are sober at the time. Organisations that can offer professional help on issues such as housing or drug and alcohol problems call in regularly.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Carecent provides breakfasts and simple toiletries and needs to be able to stock up for the year ahead, so it has very specific needs.
The charity specifically requests:
• Tinned meat which can be served cold – ham, spam, corned beef, hot-dog sausages
• Baked beans, pictured, and tinned spaghetti
• Long life fruit juice
• Tinned fruit
• Cereals – but please not porridge oats, Ready Brek or instant porridge
• Socks, hats and gloves
• Roll-on deodorant (no aerosols please)
• Shower gel and shampoo
• Jeans (especially in smaller waist sizes) and other clothes (especially fleeces / jumpers / t-shirts) The charity currently has enough oats, instant oats and Ready Brek; tea; salt; jam, marmalade, honey and Marmite; and combination tins such as baked beans with sausages.
It also has enough toothpaste and soap at the moment.
You can donate goods at:
• Central Methodist Church on a Monday or Tuesday evening from 6pm and 8pm, from September 23 to October 15.
• The Press office at 76-86 Walmgate from 9am to 4.45pm on weekdays.
• City of York Council’s HQ in Station Rise from 8.30am to 5pm or the Community Equipment Loan Service at Unit 3-4 Geralds Court, Phoenix Business Park, Hazel Court, James Street, from 8.30am to 4.30pm.
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