Housing trust supporting hundreds says “No-one will be left out this Christmas" with hamper appeal

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Derventio Housing Trust, which provides accommodation in Warwickshire to people who could otherwise be homeless, is launching its Christmas Hamper appeal.

A housing trust providing accommodation to hundreds of people who might otherwise be homeless is guaranteeing spreading some festive cheer this year with the launch of its first ever Christmas Hamper appeal.

Derventio Housing Trust, which provides accommodation in shared houses to around 650 people across the UK, wants to ensure no-one living in its housing misses out on festive cheer this year so has launched its appeal which will provide hampers to all households across the country.

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The trust exists to provide housing to people who have either recently been through homelessness or are at risk of it. Now Derventio is asking businesses and individuals to support its campaign providing festive hampers to residents who may be facing a cheerless Christmas.

A Derventio resident who ate beans on toast for Christmas last yearA Derventio resident who ate beans on toast for Christmas last year
A Derventio resident who ate beans on toast for Christmas last year

Derventio Housing Trust operates in five areas in the UK: Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Swindon. The appeal will provide hampers containing festive treats.

Jackie Carpenter, assistant director of strategy for Derventio Housing Trust, said: “All residents, everywhere we operate, will benefit from a household hamper this Christmas. No-one will be left out. Everyone will get something this Christmas.”

One Derventio resident living told how his Christmas last year had been lonely as he was unable to visit family. This reduced him to eating a meal of baked beans on toast on December 25, since his three housemates were with their family while he was not.

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Michael *, 50, has been living with Derventio Housing Trust for the past 18 months, his life having spiralled out of control after a relationship breakdown, and being unable to carry on working as a machine setter due to his epilepsy and mental health struggles.

He said: “Christmas last year was so lonely for me. It’s heart breaking when you don’t see your family.”

Derventio Housing Trust wants to spread a little festive cheer this year by providing every one of its shared households with a hamper containing seasonal goodies such as a Christmas cake and cheese snacks.

The housing trust is currently providing accommodation for 180 people in Swindon who are living with fellow Derventio residents in shared houses. Across the UK, the housing trust supports 650 people.

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Many Derventio residents are struggling with their mental health; some have no family, while others have become estranged from theirs. For most, Christmas is a huge struggle both emotionally and financially.

The housing trust is appealing for local businesses and individuals who would like to feel the warmth of Christmas giving by helping donate to the hampers.

Michael said for him and his Derventio household, having a Christmas hamper with little treats would make an enormous difference to their festive season.

“A Christmas cake and a box of biscuits would make me feel as though I’d had Christmas,” he said. “Christmas can be very lonely. There’s nothing worse than being on your own at Christmas time. It’s awful. I’ve always been used to being somewhere. There’s nothing better on Christmas day than seeing young people opening their presents.

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“If people give you something you’re not expecting, do you know how overwhelming that makes people feel? It would make me cry.”

Penny Wiltshire from Derventio Housing Trust said: “Christmas is a time of giving but it can also be a heartbreakingly lonely time for very many people. From early November we are all bombarded with advertising and sales messaging encouraging us to have a happy Christmas season and spend our money on giving to family but the reality is for some people this just makes an already tough situation far worse.

“With our Christmas Hamper campaign we would like to give residents some luxuries to help them feel they are part of the festive season too. When money is tight and you need to buy essentials, even treats like a packet of biscuits or a little box of chocolates are simply unavailable. We hope businesses and individuals will help give people a little bit of Christmas cheer this year by donating to our campaign. Many people can’t imagine spending Christmas on their own but that’s unfortunately the reality for some of residents. Many people residents really don’t have much, so we know how much of a difference these hampers will make.”

To donate to the Derventio Housing Trust Christmas Hamper appeal, see https://localgiving.org/donation/derventio/start.

· Not his real name

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