Christmas came early for young people in Derbyshire who are helped by charity Framework Housing Association, when festive shoe boxes were delivered to one of its centres.
They were give courtesy of Sewa, which is a universal concept involving performing an act of kindness without expectation of reward.
On Sewa Day, thousands of people across the world come together to perform Sewa and experience the joy of giving in its truest sense.
The Sewa Day National Christmas Shoe Box Appeal, a scheme which seeks to collect donations of essential toiletries, toys and gifts for vulnerable children and homeless people, benefited Framework’s Step Up service.
This provides accommodation and support for 16 to 24-year-olds and aims to give them the best possible start in life by offering twenty-four hour staffed hostels or dispersed accommodation with visiting support.
They also provide resettlement and move-on support for those referred by local authorities, as well as other statutory or voluntary organisations.
The pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to the already busy charity which frequently houses vulnerable young people who have experienced domestic abuse or breakdowns in family relationships.
Framework service manager Julia Mellors said: “It’s been a challenging year with Covid-19. We have a lot of young people in floating support living independently and we’ve not been able to offer them the same face to face support, especially in the early days of the pandemic.
“We’ve had to carry out a lot of work over the phone.
“This time of year can be difficult, especially if you’ve not got family to support you.
“We have some young people spending Christmas alone. We will be ensuring that all our young people have contact from someone on Christmas Day.
“Thanks to Swadlincote CVS we’ve also been able to provide them with some really nice food parcels.
“The boxes that Sewa Day sent are lovely and will mean a great deal to our young people. They are really appreciated, it’s quite touching.
“Owing to the extra expenses of the pandemic, there hasn’t been any spare cash this year. If it wasn’t for this donation some of our service users would not receive anything for Christmas.
“Our young people are really resilient in difficult circumstances but some of them would not even get a card. Something like this shows them that they’re not alone. The community support really helps.”
The Framework Homeless to Home appeal aims to raise money to keep its current services, which include hostels, outreach teams, complex needs and rehabilitation centres, transition services for young people, domestic violence and homelessness prevention teams, which all span the three counties.
The charity is currently housing some 2,500 people across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, but finances are increasingly needed to continue and expand these services, particularly amid the deepest recession since economic records began.
To donate access: www.frameworkha.org/derbyshirelive
For people wishing to send a cheque they can do so by sending it made payable to Framework to: Fundraising, Framework, Val Roberts House, 25 Gregory Boulevard, Nottingham NG7 6NX Please supply your full name and address so Framework can acknowledge your gift. Please indicate whether Framework can claim Gift Aid.
If you wish to speak to the Framework fundraising team please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0115 970 9558.
For more information about Step Up email email@example.com or call 0115 8504059.
Anyone wishing to make a general inquiry or seeking help should contact 0115 841 7711.
Framework is currently part way through its annual Winter Appeal 2020, in conjunction with Derbyshire Live and the Derby Telegraph, which lasts until the end of January.
The charity, which also operates in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire, is hoping to end homelessness by tackling rough sleeping at an early stage.
The appeal is looking to raise funds for the work to prevent rough sleeping by intervening, supporting rough sleepers through street outreach teams and resettling people into long-term secure accommodation and equipping them with skills and extra help to maintain stable independent lives.
Like many charities, income has drastically decreased because of the coronavirus pandemic, but expenditure is rising and the demand for services has never been higher, as people lose their jobs and homes.
Framework is commissioned to work with young people who are homeless or in housing need in Amber Valley, Erewash, parts of Derbyshire Dales and South Derbyshire.
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At any one time, Framework in Derbyshire supports about 80 young people in accommodation services and living in the community through its Step Up Service.
From April 2019 through to March 2020, the Step-Up service supported 103 young people in accommodation and 124 in floating support services in the community.
Hetvi Parkh, Sewa Day appeal organiser, said: “We’ve been prepping around 850 boxes today for men, woman and children in the hope that when they wake up on Christmas day, they will have a box full of presents. One of the recipients was Framework.
“It’s been hard work gathering all of the donations but it has been a complete team effort, the team has been superb and everyone has worked so, so hard to get all these donations, we’re thankful to each and every person.”