Christmas shelter is saved by public

This Is Wiltshire: Patsy Moloney, from Christmas Care, is overjoyed by the generosity of local companies and residents who have donated food Patsy Moloney, from Christmas Care, is overjoyed by the generosity of local companies and residents who have donated food

CHRISTMAS has been saved for a homeless shelter after an appeal by the organisers in the Adver.

Earlier this week Christmas Care, which provides food and shelter for up to 70 homeless or low income people over the festive period, was facing Christmas being cancelled after an all time low in food donations.

Following an appeal in Thursday’s Adver hundreds of people, firms and groups have offered support.

Patsy Moloney, chairman of Christmas Care, said: “It is the first time that the phone has never stopped ringing. It was ringing from 7am on Thursday with people calling in to donate.

“I knew if it got into the paper then people would come forward.”

Swindon’s Sainsbury stores gave £50 each and have started collection points for shoppers to donate food.

Craig Hussey, manager at the Bridgemead store, said: “When we read the Adver we thought about what we could do to help, especially as we are a food outlet.

“It was the opportunity to support people that might not have the Christmas that other people have and don’t have a home.”

Mandy Scott, PR ambassador at Sainsbury’s said: “They really need the help to feed these people and seeing how serious it is we decided to do what we can.”

Old Town call centre Scarpeo raised £325 for food buying cheese, sausages and bacon plus tins of meat and fish.

Catherine Clancey, team leader, said: “We have a charity of the year every year. On Thursday we held a charity day and when we read the front page of the Adver we decided we had to up our game. “We each donated £5 and went to Bookers and purchased all the food.”

Local business Hills Waste Solutions provided containers for collecting waste and recycling and gave hi-visibility vests to be worn by volunteers on each shift to make them easier to identify.

Halifax held a collection and Swindon College hospitality students gave £200 from a raffle.

Don MacDonald donated £500 to the charity after reading about the crisis.

Don, who comes from Cricklade, but now lives in California, said: “Life has been good to me and when I turned 50 I committed to spend the future doing more giving than taking. “I read the Adver online daily and sitting in the warmth of California, the article on the homeless at Christmas struck a chord. “I admire people like Patsy and the team who work hard helping others. I guess as you get older you learn that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others.”

Pub landlord turned cabbie, John Doyle, donated all his tips amounting to £110.

He said: “I just wanted to do my bit to support them and make sure they have a good Christmas.”

Patsy has been overwhelmed by the help and thanked the Adver and the BBC for the publicity.

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