Become a CENS Champion this festive season

​​​In case you hadn’t noticed, Christmas is just around the corner. Supermarkets are already selling huge tins of chocolates, stores are displaying Christmas decorations and gift ideas, and I’m sure I saw some mince pies for sale the other day.

Homelessness at Christmas

Christmas should be a time for celebrating and enjoying time with family and friends, but for people who are experiencing homelessness it can be one of the toughest and loneliest times of all. That’s why we try to make Christmas a moment for togetherness and friendship for all our residents. They may not have their families around them, or the security of their own home and a job, but Christmas at CENS is always celebrated in style, with a communal festive lunch, gifts around the tree, games, movies and lots of chat. 

Christmas in the community

And that is all made possible thanks to the generosity of you – our supporters. It’s the coming together of the Colchester community to help those who need it most. Whether you are donating gifts, food parcels, Christmas decorations or money, the gift of giving demonstrates to our residents that someone cares and is looking out for them at a time when they could easily be ignored.

Why we need monthly donations

But our residents are with us 365 days a year and that is why our Christmas Campaign 2023 is all about becoming a CENS Champion – by joining our monthly donation scheme. We feed 15 residents and provide a private bedroom with an ensuite bathroom every day. Costs for running the shelter have been soaring. That’s why recruiting more monthly donors is increasingly important, as we battle the cost-of-living crisis. 

But it’s not just the living costs: CENS is more than food and shelter. We are there for our residents to offer support, help, advice and care every day. That’s why our move-on success rate has increased to 62% this year. We are not just a bed for the night. Each resident has their own personal move-on plan, and we are their guide throughout the entire process. 

Monthly donations really help us provide this high level of service, which all our residents need and deserve. They help lower our admin costs, enable us to forward plan, and have a longer term impact. 

Become a CENS Champion this Christmas

It’s really simple to donate monthly. Just follow these 5 quick steps:

1. Head to the Donate page here

2. Click on ‘Other’ amount

3. Choose amount

4. Click on ‘make this a monthly donation’

5. Select either PayPal or Debit/Credit Card

The amount can be whatever you choose – and once set up, we will keep you informed of all the ways we are improving the lives of our residents, thanks to your generosity. 

Please make a big difference, and give a gift to our residents which will have an impact throughout the whole year. With your help and support we will continue to improve the lives of those who have found themselves homeless. Thank you.

CENS Essential Shopping List

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Sugar
  • Hot chocolate
  • UHT milk
  • Squash
  • Vgetable oil
  • Gravy granules
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salt & pepper
  • Stock cubes
  • Herbs and spices
  • Tinned fruit
  • Tinned/packet custard
  • Baked beans
  • Tinned tuna
  • Tinned vegetables & potatoes
  • Tinned tomatoes
  • Kidney beans
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Jam, peanut butter, chocolate spread
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Men & women’s deodorant
  • Men’s razors
  • Shave gel
  • Shower gel
  • Toothpaste
  • Cloths
  • Scourers
  • Washing up liquid
  • Surface cleaners
  • Floor cleaner
  • Bleach
  • Bathroom cleaners
  • Bin bags
  • Food caddy liners
  • Loo roll
  • Washing tablets
  • AA batteries
  • NEW single duvets
  • Pillows/pillowcases
  • Single duvet covers/sheets
  • Clean/good condition towels

Please no soups!
Thank you