Elisa Vasquez-Walters is one of CENS’s most enthusiastic and generous fundraisers. We asked her to let us into the secret of her success, and to share why she loves to raise money for us.

What was your fundraiser?

CENS are our neighbours and over the years our street has routinely held an annual fundraising event. Because of lockdown we had been unable to hold our regular fundraising plant sale, so at Christmas we decided to hold a fancy dress fun run instead. I was already taking part in a running challenge , so decided that this would be a great way to raise some funding.

How did you organise it?

It was simple – I just put a call out to our neighbours via our WhatsApp Group and social media and asked if anyone fancied joining me. To collect the money we just used a simple good old-fashioned bucket.

Did you enjoy the day?

We had great fun running around Abbey Fields all dressed in Christmas outfits! Not only did we get some exercise, but we were all left with a warm feeling, knowing that we were helping a great cause.

What advice would you give someone thinking of setting up a fundraiser?

Go for it! Don’t overcomplicate it or overthink it. Just do it! We are planning our usual fundraising plant sale for CENS again this year, so look out for the announcement!

What do you think are the contributing factors to homelessness?

The cost of living, including unaffordable rents, as well as the lack of wider support structures for issues such as mental health, housing, drug abuse and relationship breakdowns.

A huge thank you to Elisa and all our fantastic neighbours for their support over the years. Fundraising and donations form a huge and crucial part of our funding, without which we wouldn’t be able to offer the crucial support our residents need. Please tell us all about your fundraiser as we love to hear from our supporters. If you’d like to set up a fundraiser and need some help or ideas, head to our Get Involved page here.

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