What went on December 2019

So we start the new year 2020, with still a long way to go yet for the night shelter.  We ended last year by registering 46 individual guest, and with your support, have helped to prevent 502 sleeps on the streets of our Borough, provided just over 1000 meals and clocked up over 7500 volunteer hours.  What an amazing achievement and a credit to all of you who support the work.  Thank you so much for all that you do.


Messages from some of our  Guests

We thought we would share with you some good-news stories.  The first concerns a call we received a few weeks ago from a worried parent whose son had gone missing.  They asked if we had seen him as he was in the Gravesend area.  It transpired he had an argument with his girlfriend and was now out on the street.  We went out and found him and brought him back to Sanctuary.  Following a long chat we managed to reconcile him with his family.  We later received the following message:

“Thanks for everything, you made a real difference.  He is now home safe – his dad answered the door and they just hugged.  He was talking very positively about Christmas and the New Year, about his family, and going to see if he can get his job back.  We can’t thank you guys enough xx”

We often don’t get to hear about the impact we have on relationships and the hope we bring.  Being Christmas we are reminded of God’s message of reconciliation with mankind and we’re only too pleased to be a part of this.

We also received a lovely letter from Matt who was with us at the end of last year:

Steve and Lorna

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I will never forget you both for the support you have given me. You provided me shelter from the cold and wet, warm bed to rest my head, food and water, but most of all security.

I now have a place where I can find love and peace. I’ve come into contact with pretty much all of your volunteers and they are a credit to you. They all have a smile and warming souls to pick me up when I was down.

I honestly cannot thank you enough – words cannot explain. I intend on returning and repaying the debt of kindness you have shown me. Please continue to do what you doing for people that need help. You are good Samaritans not overlooking people that need help.

Thank you,  all my love.   Matt

Thank You for your gifts

We have had some amazing support from so many people over this Christmas period.  To name but a few,  St John’s 6th form students, Northfleet Technical College 6th form students, St Botolph’s Primary School, Marie’s Tea Rooms, Chalk WI, Longferry and Portreeve residents, Gravesend and Meopham Rotary, Three Scarecrows Band, Shears Green Primary school, Pelham Arms FC, NB Tools, A4G Consultants, Inner Wheel Gravesend, and so many other individual people.

Over £8,000 was paid into our bank account during December as well as other funds via Facebook and the giving platform Wonderful.   There are many that we have not named so please accept our apologies if you haven’t been mentioned.

We were also chosen as the focus of the Gravesend Messenger’s Christmas appeal which greatly helped to raise awareness.  You have all made such a difference in helping us to secure the ongoing work of the shelter for which we are so grateful.

Finally, we were able to run a full overnight shelter over Christmas and the New year thanks to the selfless generosity of our volunteers giving up their time.   Christmas lunch was also provided by City Praise Centre with the help of John Lewis who provided much of the food.

A Big Big thank you to you all.

And finally ….

Just a final word on finances.  Christmas is typically when we raise the most funds for which we are really grateful.  We expect this to be well over £10,000 for this year.  However, we do spend around £4,500 for each month we are open and so we still need to continue asking.   We are particularly thankful to all those who give regularly each month.  Every little amount helps us with planning and ensures that we can keep the doors open for longer.  To go with these gifts we also need more volunteers, otherwise can’t operate.  At the start of this new year, if you haven’t done so, could you set up a regular donation?   You can find full details on how to do this by selecting here.

Similarly, could you volunteer – you’ll find it very rewarding.  Applications can be made online by selecting this link here.

Sanctuary is a ‘first point of contact’ to those who are homeless irrespective of situation or background, with a focus on providing assistance not catered by other agencies..

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