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Help for homeless rough sleepers

Public services to help rough sleepers are open at this time of year

A number of organisations in Oxfordshire are open and ready to help rough sleepers over the holiday season.

Oxford City Council can help people who fall into homelessness over Christmas time. The local authority has emergency officers on duty on bank holidays and weekends, and services will be open during normal business hours over the coming week.

Day centres like Steppin’ Stone in East Oxford and Gatehouse in central Oxford are providing food and Christmas presents. Hostels and other supported accommodation will also be open.

“Oxford City Council is absolutely committed to doing all it can to prevent and tackle homelessness and rough sleeping. We will continue to fund and support the services that help people in this situation, over the festive season and in the years to come."

– Councillor Mike Rowley, Board member for Housing and Property Services,

The Oxford Street Population Outreach Team (SPOT) can refer rough sleepers to the day service at O'Hanlon House which will be open every day, providing lunch and other activities. The SPOT team works early in the mornings and late at night, to help people who find themselves on the street and need accommodation.

If you see someone sleeping rough you can contact SPOT to let them know by telephoning 01865 304 611, or send an email to the team on outreach.oxford@mungosbroadway.org.uk

Wherever you are in the UK you can contact the 24-hour Streetlink service on 0300 500 0914 or use their app at http://www.streetlink.org.uk/

Streetlink is part funded by the government and public donations. It is a way for the public to alert local authorities in England about people sleeping rough in their area.

Thieves steal charity collection tins at Christmas lights display

The residents at Runton Road in Poole stage an annual lights display Credit: Runton Road Christmas Lights Community

A fundraising page has been set up after thieves stole two collection tins from a Christmas lights display held in aid of a hospice in Dorset.

The residents of Runton Road in Poole stage an annual lights display which attracts thousands of people and last year it raised £8,500 for a number of good causes.

But on Friday organisers found that two collection tins, estimated to contain about £300, had been stolen from outside their homes where they had been tied to posts.

The money was set to be donated to the Forest Holme Hospice in Poole at the request of seven-year-old Mason White, who has the skin condition Epidermolysis Bullosa.

Annika Frend has set up a justgiving page in a bid to replace the lost money.

To donate click here

Annika Frend has set up a fundraising page to replace the lost money Credit: JustGiving

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A different outfit every day - from charity shops!

How often do you wear the same outfit? Once a month, or once a week maybe?

Spare a thought for Caroline Jones who set herself the challenge of wearing different outfits every day for a year - and every single one from charity shops.

She did it to raise money for Cancer Research UK, after her mum died from the disease last year. And she's reached her fundraising target early, as Olivia Kinsley found out.

Pack of snowdogs to descend on city streets

Snowdog sculpture Credit: Snowdogs by the Sea

A huge charity artwork project has been announced for Brighton and Hove next year.

'Snowdogs by the Sea' will bring a trail of 50 sculptures around the city, all individually designed by local celebrities and businesses. Fatboy Slim - DJ Norman Cook - is the first celebrity to back the scheme.

The sculptures, inspired by the Raymond Briggs book, will eventually be sold at auction to raise money for the Martlets Hospice in Hove.

Thousands of volunteers row from 'Marden to Madagascar' for charity

Firefighters joined in the fun in full kit and breathing apparatus Credit: Dandelion Time

Volunteers have rowed more than 5000 miles in Kent, without actually going anywhere. They were taking part in the county's biggest indoor rowing event, travelling the equivalent distance from Marden to Madagascar.

Thousands of people took part in the 5,600 mile journey, to raise money for the charity Dandelion Time. So far the event has raised £ 13,000 with further sponsorship still to come in.

A team from Marden Fire Service arrived in their Fire Engine and rowed in full kit and breathing apparatus. Their first visit was interrupted by call outs, but on their third visit they managed to row for over 1 hour

The youngest rower was 5 year old Thomas Pike Credit: Dandelion Time
  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Maidstone soldiers take on police in rowing challenge

In a battle of soldiers versus police, who do you think might win? That's exactly what a challenge in Maidstone this week tried to find out - and raise plenty of money for charity at the same time.

David Johns explains, talking to Maj Devkumar Gurung of the Queen's Gurkha Engineers; Lt Col Richard Walker of 36 Engineers; PC Paul Hughes; and Ch Insp Mick Gardner of Kent Police.

For the Gurkha Welfare Trust, see www.gwt.org.uk For More Than Words, see www.morethanwordscharity.com

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Thief walks off with charity money

Police are searching for a man who stole a large bottle containing money destined for charity.

The man entered the RAM sports and social club in West Green, Crawley, where he took a four-litre bottle of charity money which was on the reception counter. It contained about £500. He hid it under his t-shirt and left

He has a distinctive patterned tattoo on his right forearm.

Charity money stolen Credit: Sussex Police

This was a nasty and heartless theft and we are sure someone will recognise the man

– PC Tamsin McNab

Dream trip on Belmond British Pullman - all in the name of charity

Sick babies, abandoned dogs or the elderly? If you give money to charity, how do you decide which one gets to benefit from your hard earned cash? More and more charitable organisations are depending on our generosity to keep them going. But persuading us to donate is getting tougher. Now they're having to come up with even more novel ideas and schemes to attract our attention. This weekend, one Kent charity even hired a very famous train to raise money. Andrea Thomas reports. She spoke to Anne-Marie Kelly from the Heart of Kent Hospice, Jan Perfect from Community Action South East and Graham Carpenter, Chief Executive of Dandelion Time.

Charity warns on forcing supermarkets to donate food

Volunteers are among the workers who distribute food to the needy

A charity in Southampton is doing its bit to feed the hungry and avoid food waste. Supermarkets donate surplus food to organisations such as Fareshare and Scratch, which then distribute the produce to those who need to be fed.

The issue is much on the agenda after the French government passed a law last week, forcing the supermarkets in France to give any extra food they had to charity.

FareShare say their work tackles the imbalance between food waste and poverty with the co-operation of their donors, but they say the French-style legislation could be counter-productive if a similar law were to be passed here in the UK. Andrew Pate has our report.

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