Support for ‘invisible’ homeless this Christmas

Birmingham agency combines with local businesses to provide gifts for vulnerable people.

Over 200 gift packs containing essential items have been donated to support those people who have a roof over their head but are still homeless in Birmingham this winter.

While much is made of the tragic cases of people sleeping rough in Birmingham over the winter months, up to 532 people are currently in Midland Heart supported accommodation alone, with a roof over their head but nowhere to call home.

There are a range of reasons people are in this accommodation, from substance misuse to fleeing domestic violence, and for much of the time they are invisible. Thus Midland Heart, alongside its contractors, have decided to provide those in this position with extra support to get back on their feet this Christmas.

Kind-hearted staff and contractors assembled packs containing everyday essentials such as soap and toothbrushes that will be handed out to those in temporary or short-term accommodation during the winter month. James Andrews Solutions, J. Tomlinson, Travis Perkins Managed Services, Total Mobile, Niyaa People, Lovells, Mosaic Print Solutions and Ian Williams Ltd, were among the list of contractors who gave donations to the Birmingham Homeless Gift Appeal.

Amanda Nicklin, Homeless Services Manager at Midland Heart, said: “We have been completely overwhelmed by the wonderful support we have received from both our staff and contractors. We put out a call for a list of essential items that would help those with accommodation but without a place to call home to feel a little more comfortable, and the response was fantastic.

“Lots of people only think of rough sleepers when they hear the word homeless but there are hundreds of people not on the street but without a home and in need of help and support. By joining forces we were able to collect enough items to make up over 200 packs. These will make a big difference to those whom we don’t necessarily see, but have been housed in temporary or short-term accommodation and are accessing support to get back on their feet.”

Partners in the city, Birmingham Community Health Care Foundation Trust – Community Dental Service also provided a range of items for the packs. Maggie Devine, Social Value Manager at Travis Perkins Managed Services said: “The success of our combined efforts has generated a helping hand to the people of the West Midlands who need it the most. I am pleased that as a group of companies we are all able to pull together and resource such helpful contributions for this very worthwhile cause.”

The packs were assembled at Midland Heart’s head office in Birmingham on Wednesday 6 December and will be distributed to those in need through the cold winter months.