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Got a question about Christmas?

Our supporter services team

We’re a small, but committed team here at Crisis doing our best to answer all your questions this Christmas. To save you some time (hopefully) we’ve listed answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, then get in touch via supporter.helpline@crisis.org.uk or by calling 08000 384838. We’d be delighted to hear from you.

 

Costs

By reserving a place, you’re doing much more than buying someone Christmas dinner. Your donation can cover the cost of:

  • Health checks and treatment from a range of healthcare professionals including, doctors, dentists, opticians, physios and podiatrists
  • Advice on housing, employment and benefits
  • A way out of homelessness for good through Crisis’ year-round training, education and support.
  • Three nutritious, hot meals daily, including a delicious Christmas dinner
  • A bed for the night, if needed
  • A chance to shower, freshen up and get clean clothes
  • A warm welcome and good company

 We hope that Christmas will be the first step of their journey with us and, thanks to your support, this will be their last Christmas experiencing homelessness.

Christmas is our busiest time of the year. Getting ready to welcome over 4,000 guests into our centres, and then hopefully connect them with our year-round work, is a huge logistical operation.

It’s also the time of year when new supporters come to Crisis for the first time. They may find out about us through friends or colleagues. But more likely it will be because they see things like inserts in magazines/newspapers, or adverts on TV or radio. They’re an amazing way to find more people like you, who believe that homelessness is an injustice and want to do something about it. So if you see our logo in more places, that’s why.

Last year was our most successful year yet for welcoming new supporters to Crisis. It’s helped more homeless people than ever before and we want that to continue.

We’re constantly talking to politicians and helping them understand how changes to policy and infrastructure can make a difference to homelessness in the UK. It’s an approach that has already achieved significant change. Our No One Turned Away campaign, backed by 80,000 supporters as well as partner charities and politicians from all parties, led to the Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA) in 2017. It was the most fundamental change to Homelessness law in 40 years, transforming the help councils were required to provide for people experiencing homelessness. Read more about the HRA.

We know that for a huge amount of our supporters giving to Crisis at Christmas time is an important part of their year. When we ask for a specific amount – in a letter or an email – it’s normally based on what you’ve given before. So if, for example, you gave £56 last year (2 places) then we’ll ask if you’d like to give that same gift again.

However, we also know that circumstance change. Sometimes people aren’t able to give the same amount, and sometimes they’re fortunate enough to give more. We’re grateful for any donation, as it will all make a big difference to homeless people, both at Christmas and beyond.

Thanks to you, people who visit our Christmas centres get a wonderful experience, and some welcome respite from the reality of homelessness. However, we don’t simply close the doors and look forward to seeing them again next year. Crisis at Christmas is a special period, but it’s what happens the other 51 weeks of the year that will determine someone’s journey out of homelessness.

We hope that every single person who visits us at Christmas will use this as an opportunity to get involved with our year-round work. We’ve got centres across the country offering all kinds of support from education and qualifications, to mental health and wellbeing. These are the services that change people’s lives forever, that give them the skills, knowledge and support they need to leave homelessness behind for good. Find out more about our centres and the work we’re doing.

Volunteering and donations

Thank you! We have a wish list of items such as warm clothing (jumpers, coats, hoodies) and other items that would be gladly received at our centres.

We can only accept gift in kind donations in locations where we have centres and what is needed in each area varies, so please do check the list for your local centre for further details.

This year we have Christmas centres open across the UK:

  • Birmingham
  • Coventry
  • Edinburgh
  • London
  • Newcastle
  • South Wales

If you’d like to find out more about volunteering at one of these centres, then visit our volunteering pages to see what opportunities interest you.

That’s wonderful! Thank you. You can find out everything you need to know on our volunteering section. We look forward to hearing from you.

Making a donation

Christmas is an incredibly busy time and, if you’ve sent your donation by mail, and we’re at the mercy of the postal system. At this time of year, we know that it takes much longer than usual for a donation to reach us, due to the deluge of post being handled by sorting offices around the country over the festive period.

So perhaps allow a little longer than you’d typically expect for us to receive your gift. If you would like to talk to us about it, then get in touch with us via: 08000 384838 (option 4) or supporter.helpline@crisis.org.uk and we’ll look into it for you.

If you saw a thank you page after your donation, then that is typically a sign that your payment has been processed as expected. You should also receive a confirmation email from us with a reference number. If you can’t see it in your Inbox, then check your junk folders. Sometimes different email providers can direct unfamiliar email senders directly to junk folders as a safety precaution. We do find that occasionally our donors mis-type their email address!

If you can’t find the email confirmation and would like some reassurance from us, then get in touch Monday-Friday 9am-5pm on: 08000 384838 (option 4) or supporter.helpline@crisis.org.uk and we’ll look into it for you.

Christmas is a busy time for everyone, not just for us. We know from speaking to supporters that in amongst all the Christmas activity, they sometimes forget to find the time to make their traditional donation. Sending a polite reminder letter has been really popular, and last year helped us raise more money than ever before, and welcome even more guests into our Christmas centres. Our mailings take a few days to prepare and post, so our letter was on its way to you before we processed your kind donation.

Helping a person who is rough sleeping

If you are concerned about someone sleeping rough in England or Wales, you can use the StreetLink website to fill in some details and alert the relevant local authorities. 

In Scotland if you are experiencing homelessness, or know someone who is, then contact the Homelessness Team at your local council. In Northern Ireland, you should contact the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

It’s a personal choice whether to give someone a little bit of change. Homeless people often tell us that isolation, and that feeling of being invisible, is one of the harshest parts of being on the street. Stopping for a chat with a homeless person may be the only contact they have that day.

But if you feel like you want to give someone change for a cup of tea or something to eat, then make the decision that feels right for you.

The Get Help section of our website is dedicated to helping people at risk or experiencing homelessness find the help they need. If we’re not able to provide the precise help the person needs, then hopefully we can direct them towards someone who can.