Final call from organisers of Sheffield Shoebox Appeal - and how you can help the vulnerable

Organisers of the Sheffield Shoebox Appeal have issued a final call for gifts for the city’s vulnerable this Christmas.

By Claire Lewis
Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 3:47 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 3:48 pm

The appeal, set up around 10 years ago, is run by a group of friends who come together in the run up to Christmas to help those in need.

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One of the co-ordinators, Christine Sexton, said the appeal was initially set up to provide Christmas boxes for the homeless, but has now expanded over the years.

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Gifts donated as part of the Sheffield Shoebox Appeal

She said: “Christmas can be a very joyous time of year, but if you are vulnerable, living in a hostel or on the streets, or have escaped abuse and are in a refuge, it can be very lonely as well. So we work closely with our charities and service providers to provide a bit of Christmas cheer for rough sleepers, and men and women in hostels, temporary accommodation and refuges.

“These could be people who are struggling with mental health problems or addictions or who might be escaping abuse or other situations. We also provide boxes to elderly people living on their own or with no family.

“For many of them this will be the only Christmas present they get, so we try to make sure our boxes are full of treats and luxury items as well as practical ones such as hats and gloves.”

Those wishing to donate are urged to wrap an empty shoebox with Christmas paper and fill it with items including toiletries, hats, gloves, books, games, Christmas treats and chocolate.

There are drop off points are across Sheffield and boxes can be donated up until Tuesday, December 7.

Kindhearted people filling boxes are urged not to include alcohol, money, children’s toys or clothing.

Boxes are needed for males, females, the elderly, mothers and babies.

Christine said: “We are really struggling to get enough boxes. Our drop off points close this weekend, as we have to leave ourselves time to get the boxes to the charities, and then they have to have time to distribute the boxes to their service users in time for Christmas.

“Compared to last year and the year before, we have much fewer boxes already dropped off. One of two things could be happening - not as many people are making them, or we’re going to get them all at the last minute. But, we won’t know which of the two it is until the end of the appeal.”

To find out more about the appeal, look for Sheffield Homeless Shoebox Appeal on Facebook.