This year, we decided to break tradition here at Proctor + Stevenson, and instead of creating our annual staff Christmas video, we donated our services to a worthy cause, producing a film for a local charity instead. After researching many of the wonderful charitable institutions that operate in our home city, we selected Caring In Bristol, a charity dedicated to eradicating homelessness in Bristol for good. They work in imaginative and creative ways with people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness, as well as public and community partners, to bring about lasting change in Bristol and beyond.
We were blown away by the extensive work they do, and so created and donated a film for Caring in Bristol, engaging people in this urgent cause and encouraging people to donate via their website. You can watch the video here.
Shockingly, nearly 3,000 people in our great city will be experiencing homelessness this Christmas. Over the winter, a donation of just £21 could provide food, mental health and wellbeing support, care and compassion for those experiencing homelessness at an acutely difficult time of year. You can donate here.
Currently there are around 895 homeless ‘households’ in Bristol; that’s families who are trapped in temporary and emergency accommodation over the winter months. And in March, the number of rough sleepers in Bristol had reached its highest level in a decade, despite there being a national drop.
Unfortunately, the homelessness crisis is set to worsen, as Generation Rent estimates that 17% of renters have fallen into arrears since the beginning of the pandemic, and the number of families at risk of eviction due to late or missed rent payments is triple that of last year. Centrepoint, a homeless charity supporting under-25s in England, has seen a 36% increase in people seeking support since lockdown began.
Caring in Bristol runs Bristol’s flagship winter homelessness project, Caring at Christmas, and 2020 will see the 31st year of the Christmas project. Last year, over the days that Caring at Christmas 2019 ran, it provided day support to 429 homeless and vulnerable people in Bristol and served over 2,500 hot meals.
This year, the charity is warning of a potential increase in clients who are homeless needing access to emergency support and has adapted the project to become COVID-safe. Caring in Bristol will be delivering over 900 meals each day to those in temporary accommodation and 100 meals daily to those currently sleeping rough throughout December. Alongside this, the project provides medical care, mental health support, entertainment, wellbeing, specialist housing and money advice, resources like clothing, compassion and friendship at an acutely difficult time of year.
So please donate what you can this Christmas, and do your part to empower Bristol into becoming the first city to end homelessness, for good.