Your help made a difference…
Christmas 2015 at Stonepillow
Christmas can be especially difficult for people who are homeless as they cope with not only increasingly harsh weather, but also profound loneliness resulting from often having nowhere to go at the most festive time of year.
Thanks to our supporters who donated food and Christmas gifts, to St Mary's Church, Easebourne, Katharine Minchin and her army of volunteer cooks and to our dedicated Project Workers for the following accounts:
Stonepillow Recovery Service, Sands, Bognor Regis
"Feelings were mixed during the lead up to Christmas at Stonepillow’s Recovery Service. Clients who weren’t able to spend Christmas with loved ones were understandably sad but by Christmas Eve spirits had lifted.
Christmas songs were played and the kitchen was decorated ready for the feast on Christmas Day. Some people played the guitar and others sang along. Everyone was enjoying the atmosphere. Clients were able to go to midnight mass, which they really enjoyed, and came straight back afterwards. One client stayed up all night to keep an eye on the huge turkey as it cooked.
Christmas Day started with a big breakfast which all enjoyed. Everyone got involved on Christmas Day, laughing, joking and opening their Christmas shoe-boxes, which they were very grateful for. Christmas dinner was a massive success and everyone enjoyed meal. In the evening some people attended meetings and others spent it in the house enjoying the atmosphere with clients and staff, watching films or chatting in the living room.
The festive atmosphere continued into Boxing Day, with cold meat and salad for lunch and dinner. Later everyone played games or watched films in the living room. Some clients caught up on sleep but the atmosphere was still fantastic.
Overall staff and clients bonded to offer a massive support network for clients who needed it and everyone really enjoyed sharing their Christmas. The Christmas period was enjoyed thoroughly by both staff and clients and the memories will be treasured."
Stonepillow Chichester Hub, The Old Glassworks, Chichester
"Christmas day was met with excitement and pleasure at the Chichester hub with street homeless very pleased with their shoe-box gifts. Volunteers came to cook and apart from a slight problem with the oven, all went smoothly! Volunteers laid the table with Christmas table cloths, crackers, napkins and decorations and chatted with the clients. Everyone was grateful for the lovely lunch served and volunteers enjoyed being able to talk to our clients afterwards. More donations of food arrived throughout the day.
The afternoon went by fairly quietly with the clients chatting or watching films and eating Christmas treats. The following day volunteers arrived to cook Boxing Day lunch. Once again the table was laid with Christmas table cloths, crackers, napkins and various decorations and volunteer cooks used up the vegetables from Christmas Day, creating a delicious bubble and squeak which was served with meats including a donation of a cooked chicken received on the day. Everyone enjoyed the meal. Afterwards they chatted and all went smoothly. Volunteers cleared up and told staff that they enjoyed themselves and would be very happy to do it all again next year!"
Stonepillow Chichester Hostel, St Joseph's, Chichester
"Chichester Hostel clients were treated to a delicious dinner prepared and cooked by volunteers. They received shoe-box gifts which were generously donated by the public and were well received. Later, after dinner, clients continued talking about their gifts with appreciation."
Stonepillow Bognor Hub & Hostel, Glenlogie, Bognor Regis
"Christmas went really well, there was a great atmosphere, plenty of gifts and more than enough food for everyone. Due to a generous donation, we were able to open the Bognor Regis hub and hostel over Christmas delighting residents who would otherwise have had to spend Christmas Day and Boxing Day on the streets.
Volunteers served Christmas lunch with all the trimmings. Some of the lunch had been prepared on Christmas Eve, which helped a great deal. It was obvious that clients were touched that people had given up their Christmas to come and cook for them. Christmas shoe-boxes went down very well, the gifts were lovely and everyone seemed extremely grateful. There was a happy atmosphere throughout Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
The meal that our residents were invited to at Stonepillow Chichester Hub on December 23rd, cooked by the Swan in Arundel received high praise from the clients, all of whom said that they had really enjoyed the day and the effort that had been taken in setting it all up. Volunteers on New Year’s Eve cooked a delicious meal which visibly lifted the client’s spirits."