GENEROUS workers at Stafford Railway Station have made tracks to support our Christmas appeal.
The Virgin Trains staff have all rushed to raid their wardrobes for unwanted clothes and other items they can offer to our campaign.
And not only that they are also putting up posters around the station to urge customers to help out too.
Team leader Fiona Main said they were thrilled to get involved with such a worthwhile cause.
“We see a lot of homelessness at railway stations and it is hard-hitting to think that this exists in our local community as well as in big cities,” she said.
“If we can all share a little warmth this Christmas, but also in the months and years to come, hopefully Stafford can be a better place for everyone to live and not such a struggle for those finding it tough this winter.” Donations are continuing to flood in and are fast filling up our storage room at Storage Boost on the Tollgate Industrial Park, offered free of charge.
House of Bread was the brainchild of Stafford man Matt Turner. He and some volunteers from Trinity Church originally opened up for the first time at St Mary’s Mews in September 2010. Since then it has gone from strength to strength, moving to a bigger venue within Trinity Church.
Each Wednesday evening the room is open for anyone to drop in for a hot meal between 6pm and 8pm, eating and chatting with volunteers and other diners.
They leave with a food bag and can get items of clothing and blankets.
Its success is down to the army of volunteers who give up their time, money and energy on the project.
One volunteer Charmaine Greaves, 23, who lives in Stafford, said: “I had been thinking of getting involved with something. Someone from my mum’s church mentioned their idea for House of Bread and I really liked the sound of it. I went along to the first meeting and I’ve been involved ever since.
“I began helping with the cooking and as the idea grew I began to think about what else I could offer. I work in human resources so I have been trying to use that as the organisation develops further.
“It has been amazing to see how it has grown. Things are always so busy here and we believe it will only continue to get busier.” Another volunteer Ali Richards works in PR and has been using her skills to try to raise the organisation’s profile, as well as volunteering with the cooking.
She said: “Charmaine told me about House of Bread and I really wanted to get involved. It’s a fantastic organisation.
Christmas Appeal - All Wrapped Up
THE festive season for most of us means battling the crowds, Christmas shopping, decorating trees, eating, drinking and generally making merry.
But it is also a special time of year, which makes us reflect on the world and think of those a little less fortunate and in need of a helping hand.
And that’s where our 2012 Christmas appeal All Wrapped Up comes in.
This year we are supporting House of Bread in Stafford.
This vital service has been up and running for only a couple of years but already provides help to homeless people and those living on the poverty line in and around Stafford.
Once a week it provides a place for people to sit down in the warmth and enjoy a hot meal.
They have the chance to talk to volunteers and get advice and information, before leaving with a small food bag of tinned goods.
The charity even provides blankets, sleeping bags, clothes and tents where possible and on Christmas Day it will open its doors to provide turkey and tinsel for those who need it.
The organisation has no funding and relies solely on donations and the generosity of volunteers to provide the service.
And this year the Newsletter is aiming to brighten up Christmas for all those in need by urging our generous readers to donate items, which can be handed out as presents on Christmas Day.
All gifts can be dropped off at the Newsletter offices in Derby Street, Stafford.