Turning Tides launches their Harvest Appeal to support the growing numbers of people becoming homeless across West Sussex.
The local charity are urging the whole community to become ‘Harvest Heroes’ by donating money to enable them to buy essential items throughout the autumn and winter months ahead. Harvest Festival is traditionally a time for giving, a time for thanks and for recognising and sharing with others.
For local homeless charity, Turning Tides, it has always been a hugely important time. Last year, thanks to the support of local schools and churches across the county, over £20,000 was raised which helped to feed local people experiencing homelessness throughout the winter. Financial donations given during Harvest meant the charity could buy vital fresh and healthy produce.
Ruth Poyner, Head of Fundraising comments: “Financial donations during Harvest will allow us to buy fresh nutritious produce, helping us plan carefully throughout the year. Prolonged periods of homelessness can lead to malnutrition, anaemia and a host of other serious health issues. Buying fresh with funds kindly given by the community helps us care for the health and immunity of those who come to our Hubs - particularly for those who sleep rough. With your help we can meet the daily nutritional needs of the hundreds we support throughout West Sussex, during such a critical time, when Covid is still very much present in our community.”
As the long term economic reality of Covid really starts to bite in our communities, Turning Tides are seeing a rapidly increasing number of people coming to them for support. Ruth continues: “Many more people across our county are seeking help for the first time as they tackle job loss, bereavement and poor mental health. Another consequence of the pandemic has been increasing food poverty which ranges from being worried about where the next meal is coming from to actually going hungry on a regular basis – something we see far too often at our Community Hubs”.
Claire Halford Dale, Turning Tides’ Worthing Community Hub Manager sees the real impact of food poverty every day when she opens the Hub to people who have been forced to sleep rough: “The majority of people who come to our Hub arrive very hungry, and I don’t just mean the type of hunger where your stomach rumbles – more like the hunger where you feel exhausted, dizzy, nauseous and shake from lack of nutrition. All too often the meal we provide our clients will be the only one they have that day and they have no idea where the next meal is coming from. That is really scary – most of us take this for granted, we have snacks in the cupboard, the next meal bought and planned for. To not know when your basic physical needs might be met every day can make people feel extremely anxious and depressed. Supporting Turning Tides’ Harvest appeal ensures we can provide nutritious food for the growing numbers accessing our services. This generosity can also feed the soul as much as the body – the people we support realise their community cares and that they are not alone.”
Members of the community, faith groups and schools can become a Hero at Harvest by donating to the appeal.
• £10 – will fill a bag of wholesome lunchtime snacks for several people having to sleep rough.
• £50 – will provide a basket of basics for two people living in our accommodation for a week.
• £100 – will pack a trolley with essentials for two people every fortnight
Children across the county can get involved by becoming ‘Heroes Against Homelessness at Harvest’ - a hero themed dress up day at school – each donating just £1. Faith communities could collect throughout Harvest during their services. Donations throughout Harvest will go a long way to supporting the nutrition of the growing numbers needing the charity’s help.
If you would like more information visit https://www.turning-tides.org.uk/harvest/ or call on 01903 680740 and speak to a member of the Fundraising Team.