Christmas Appeal 2023
Make a difference for someone like Sarah this Christmas by donating just £10
Christmas is a special time of year for many and it's particularly important to us at HARP as we provide a lifeline for local people who have nobody else to turn to, particularly over the festive season.
Many of the people we work with are living with complex needs, often having experienced trauma in their early lives. Christmas isn’t filled with happy memories as it is for many people. We help these people overcome their difficulties and rebuild their lives.
We met Sarah when she’d be sleeping rough on the streets of Southend for over year. She was at rock bottom after an abusive relationship.
“They say that one person can change a life, but I’d say that there were many when I went to HARP."
By donating to HARP this Christmas, you will provide so much more than a Christmas meal – you will give local people experiencing homelessness compassion, safety and a friendly smiling face throughout the festive period and beyond.
“I was working full-time in an office but topping up my income with bar work when I met my ex, Steve. Although he was 20 years older than me, when I was introduced to him, we got on like a house on fire.
Very quickly, he moved into my flat. Things were going well until he started pushing me into things I usually wouldn’t dream of doing, as a result I starting heavily depending on him. He’d got me addicted and as I got more involved with him, things started to go downhill for me. I lost my job and then my home.”
Support someone like Sarah this Christmas by making a donation today.
After this, Sarah’s situation became desperate. Her family tried to persuade her to leave Steve and as a consequence her family relationship broke down. She ended up on the street, often sleeping in squats or ‘friends places’.
“When I didn’t have a squat or ‘friend’ to stay with, I’d found places around the High Street to keep myself quite hidden and safe. But one night I was found by the HARP Outreach Team. That night they found me some emergency accommodation and, in time, a more permanent home in their White Heather House women’s only accommodation. They helped me get an injunction out against Steve so I could move on with my life.
I had gone through a lot of traumas so it wasn’t all plain sailing. The support staff at HARP were the ones who kept me on the straight and narrow, allowing me to gradually rebuild my life and realise that I had a future.
“They didn’t give up on me, even when I was difficult to be around. They saw my potential and encouraged me to make better choices”
Thanks to HARP’s support, Sarah is now back working full-time, is married and has a daughter.
“They say that one person can change a life, but I’d say that there were many when I went to HARP. They didn’t give up on me, even when I was difficult to be around. They saw my potential and encouraged me to make better choices”
Often HARP is the only family that people can turn to. With your help we can make sure that all of our nearly 300 residents – who without HARP might be sleeping rough this Christmas – as well as those still sleeping on the streets, are offered a meal, a Christmas present and festive cheer over the Christmas period. We can provide a warm place to stay and a friendly face to talk to at Christmas. This is why we need your support.
Every year, HARP support around 1,000 local people who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of losing their home. Your donation will help us make Christmas a special time for the people we work with, as well as to help us work with more people experiencing homelessness in 2024 and beyond.
Donations to our Christmas appeal will help us to provide care and support as well as meals, entertainment, activities to local homeless people over the Christmas period and beyond. All donations will be spent where we feel the need is greatest.