A shoebox can make all the difference this Christmas

Published: Wednesday 6th December 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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An independent fostering agency that operates across the UK has launched a project to help homeless people in Hull over the festive period.

Based in Somerset, Fusion Fostering is dedicated to matching foster carers with children in need of safe, loving homes. Its team of specialists is highly trained in childcare services and united under the mission to empower young people to thrive, as well as support other organisations that share a similar ethos.

In November, Hull-based James Ash began his role as Fusion Fostering’s new Marketing Director. Alongside a company rebrand and the planning of a vibrant ongoing events programme, one of his first projects is a special piece of activity to support those without shelter.

“Fusion Fostering works hard to improve outcomes and the life chances of individuals who need it most,” says James. “In this spirit, we’ve teamed up with Humbercare to create the very first Fusion Shoebox Appeal.”

Humbercare provides quality and innovative services to adults and young people, including befriending schemes, education, employment, training, house-related support and integration into the wider community. The Fusion Shoebox Appeal invites businesses and members of the public to donate all kinds of items that those without a home will find useful both during the Christmas period and long-term.

“This is the season of goodwill, so there’s no better time to get involved,” adds James. “The Fusion Shoebox Appeal will launch in the City of Culture and is open to donations from across the UK. Every contribution that we receive will make an enormous difference to the lives of people who need help now more than ever before.”

Donating is very simple, as items can be sent to Humbercare’s headquarters in Hull. Alternatively, they can be taken in person to businesses that are getting involved and acting as drop-off points: The Hull Daily Mail offices on Blundell’s Corner, the Management Suite in St Stephen’s Shopping Centre, and the C4DI on Queen Street.

“We’re so grateful to these organisations for their involvement,” says James. “Our van is ready and waiting to be filled up with gifts, so we urge everyone to contribute whatever they can to make this an amazing Christmas for people who may otherwise receive nothing at all.”

Examples of things that can be added are food, Christmas puddings, toiletries and clothing, although the Fusion Shoebox Appeal isn’t limiting donations. If you think that a homeless person will find joy in a particular item, it will be gladly accepted.

“If you can’t stretch to a donation, we’d love to receive Christmas cards with messages of support,” says James. “A few kind words, a joke or poem can really brighten someone’s day and show them that they’re not alone in the world.”

Donations will be accepted until Wednesday 20 December. The Fusion Fostering and Humbercare teams will then sort the gifts into shoeboxes that will be distributed to homeless people and families on the Friday. This will be done as part of a festive celebration, where service users can enjoy a Christmas film, mince pies, a warm environment and good company.

James adds: “The UK City of Culture is for everyone, including those without a home. This is an opportunity for people across Britain to transform lives and enable positive change.”

If you would like to send items in the post, please address them to: Fusion Shoebox Appeal, Humbercare, Dock House, St. Peter Street, Hull, HU9 1AF.

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Published: Wednesday 6th December 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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