ORGANISATIONS working together are providing services for people experiencing homelessness over the Christmas period.

Festive events include a number of Christmas lunches and parties, with services also continuing to provide food and hot drinks for homeless and vulnerably housed people.

Oxford Homeless Movement, which involves a large number of agencies working to combat rough sleeping, has launched a Christmas Match Fund.

Launched on December 1 it aims to raise £150,000 by January 6 and so far has raised more than £37,000.

Oxfordshire Community Foundation has pledged to match any donations that are made.

READ AGAIN: £150,000 Christmas Match Fund to help rough sleepers

Jane Cranston, chairwoman of Oxford Homeless Movement, said: “Christmas is a time of celebration and Oxford’s charities and community groups work hard to make sure homeless and vulnerably housed people aren’t left out in the cold.

Oxford Mail:

“Everybody can do something to help and it’s not too late. Why not visit our website and see how you could give your time, money or help in kind to people experiencing rough sleeping this Christmas?”

Festive events to support rough sleepers have already started.

The Oxford Community Soup Kitchen – known as Ma Smith’s – held its Christmas lunch in East Oxford on Wednesday.

The same night employment charity Aspire Oxford held a Place at the Table festive dinner at Yarnton Nursery for the people it supports who are facing homelessness, poverty and disadvantage.

This provided people with a hot meal, as well as the opportunity for them to get specialist housing and employment support.

Next week, Oxford Homeless Project, run by Shabnam Sabir, is holding two events in East Oxford.

Oxford Mail:

On Monday it is hosting a Christmas party at the Asian Cultural Centre, starting at noon. An on Christmas Day it will host a Christmas lunch at East Oxford Community Centre between 1pm and 5pm.

On Christmas Eve Crisis Skylight in George Street is holding a breakfast between 9.30am and 11.30am for people sleeping rough .

This is part of a programme of holiday activities that includes trips, games and wellbeing days.

The Oxford Christmas Day lunch will take place in the King’s Centre in Osney Mead between 12.30pm and 4pm. This provides food and companionship for more than 500 people.

Stuart Rushworth, a retired police inspector, is a volunteer chef at Crisis Skylight Oxford this Christmas.

Oxford Mail:

He said: “I enjoy cooking and volunteering as a chef for Crisis, this is just my small part in a much bigger effort to help people back on their feet.”

Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran has highlighted government figures showing that 19 more households in the county were under threat of homelessness in the second quarter of the year, compared to the first.

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