The Independent on Sunday Christmas Appeal for Centrepoint

Homeless Christmas Appeal
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The Independent Online
Last Week, for the Independent on Sunday's Christmas Appeal we asked you to donate to Centrepoint, the charity which this winter will offer hundreds of young people a warm and safe place to stay. Centrepoint say they have been overwhelmed and delighted by your response. We asked that people send not just money, blankets and food, but the sort of Christmas presents that young people on the streets rarely have access to, to make them feel they are being offered more than warehousing over winter.

In addition to generous donations, Centrepoint has been inundated with gifts, many of them individually wrapped. Among those that have poured in have been pounds 200 worth of book and record tokens, video players and cassettes, filofaxes, board games, underwear and socks, art materials, CDs, table tennis tables, toiletries and large framed pictures.

One of the gifts included a personal message which said: "My 10-year- old grand-daughter wrapped these presents. She has a mother who is a single parent. Fortunately for her she has a support system, unlike many of the homeless. I hope this small donation will help someone have a happier Christmas."

Centrepoint's chief executive, Victor Adebowale, says: "I have to thank Independent on Sunday readers for their generous response to the Christmas appeal. Some of our young residents, particularly those at emergency shelters like Admiralty Arch - have spent years watching other people's festivities from the pavement. Working 365 days a year, as we do, we realise how painful that exclusion can be at this time of year.

"At Centrepoint projects on Christmas Day there were food, presents, games, decorations that many people expect as part of an 'ordinary Christmas'. We have had extraordinary generosity from people who have donated everything from presents to decorations - and extraordinary generosity from people who will be volunteering over Christmas. I'm honoured to wish them, and all the young people staying at Centrepoint, a happy and safely-housed New Year. And, next year, I hope those young people will be celebrating in homes of their own."

Centrepoint credit card donation line - Freephone 0800 232320.

Address to send small items or cheques - Centrepoint, Fundraising Office, Bewlay House, 2, Swallow Place, London W1R 7AA. To send larger or more expensive items, please fax the fundraising department on 0171 493 2120.

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