Karbon Homes, Flooring Superstore, NICE Network and other businesses from across the region have come together to help launch a homelessness charity's Christmas appeal to raise vital funds following a rise in rough sleepers during this year's lockdowns.
Earlier this month, Oasis Community Housing launched their ‘Giving a Home’ campaign with both a virtual, and a life-size gingerbread house located at Gateshead’s Tesco Extra. The Gateshead-based charity hopes the appeal will aid their continued work delivering food, warmth and medicines, along with counselling and a safe, stable environment to people facing homelessness throughout Christmas and 2021. While also encouraging people to celebrate their own home – in a year that has involved spending more time indoors than ever before.
David Smith, Oasis Community Housing’s Chief Executive, explains: “Our teams do early morning outreach on the streets and they are seeing a real spike in rough sleeping, and meeting many people who are newly homeless. 2020 has been tough for all of us, but can you imagine what it would be like not to have somewhere safe and warm to stay when everywhere else is closed? Our Giving a Home appeal is about providing just that; more than simply a roof overhead.”
The appeal’s online launch event invited businesses to tune in wearing their best black and gold attire – the charity’s colours – for an afternoon of live music, charity stories and virtual fireworks. Commenting on their involvement, Terri Hamilton of NICE Network, a Sunderland-based Telecoms Solutions company, said: “We are delighted to be able to come together to support this exciting event, and help make a big difference for people facing homelessness this winter and into the New Year.”
The virtual version of the ‘Giving a Home’ gingerbread house can be seen online, with donations from businesses and individuals able to ‘buy’ bricks, roof tiles and other festive treats to help ‘build’ the confectionery home. For every £2,000 raised a gingerbread person will move into the house, enabling the charity to offer a real home to someone facing homelessness throughout 2021 – with a generous donation from Karbon Homes, which owns and manages almost 30,000 properties across the North East and Yorkshire, having already kick-started the appeal.
The charity’s real-life gingerbread house sits just outside Trinity Square’s Tesco Extra on snow frosted grass, which was gifted by Flooring Superstore. Greig Anderson, Flooring Superstore’s Regional Manager, commented: “As a business with its head office in the North East, as well as several stores, we are always pleased to be able to support organisations and charities who are making a difference to so many people in our region. Oasis Community Housing are a perfect example. We wish them every success with their gingerbread house initiative.”
‘Giving a Home’, and the gingerbread houses, will run until the end of January 2021. Oasis’ Chief Executive David Smith added: “We couldn’t do what we do without the generous support of businesses and individuals, so please do get involved by spreading the word with a selfie at the gingerbread house or by making a donation – it all goes towards us giving a home to someone who desperately needs it this Christmas and New Year.”