Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Christmas shelter welcomes homeless

February 10 2012
Five days, 1,345 meals, chiropody and company...

 

One of Birmingham’s oldest homeless shelters opened its doors and kitchens to hundreds of guests over Christmas, providing food and warmth at a time when social isolation - and the cold - are at their worst.

Birmingham Christmas Shelter, a charity formerly known as Birmingham Open Christmas, provided hot meals, refuge and companionship to the homeless and lonely from its base in St George’s Community Hub, Newtown on 23-27 December.

Volunteers for the charity - now in its 31st year - worked around the clock to welcome guests and served a remarkable 1,345 meals over the five-day open house.

Homeless visitors to the shelter were able to make use of all-important health care provisions as well as try out less accessible holistic services such as meditation, chiropody and yoga. Some guests even spent their Christmas studying osteology - the structure of bones in relation to health.

Birmingham Christmas Shelter is staffed entirely by volunteers and relies upon donations in order to survive. 2012’s fundraising has already begun with a stylish donation from Birmingham’s Bullring Shopping Centre. “We’re auctioning off the giant festive jumper worn by the famous Bullring bull,” says shelter trustee Dave Young. “We’re hoping this iconic piece of knitwear will raise much-needed funds and a few smiles along the way.”

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