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Crisis at Christmas busier than ever

Thousands of homeless people visited our Crisis at Christmas centres in December 2012 with all our residential centres filled to capacity and day centres busy throughout the whole week.

Medical services, including dentists, doctors and physiotherapists were in much demand by guests across all the nine London centres, and in our Newcastle centre which was open Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

In London there was a host of activities and services throughout the centres, ranging from yoga, craft, drama, karaoke and beauty treatments like hairdressing and massage.

Entertainment is also staged throughout the week for our London guests, ranging from singer songwriters, groups like the Crisis Skylight Band and stunning performances by professional opera singers.

Leslie Morphy, Crisis chief executive said: "This year Crisis at Christmas was busier than ever. With homelessness on the rise, we would like to express our gratitude to our volunteers, donors and supporters for providing such an excellent service to our thousands of guests. In 2013 we will continue to deliver life-changing services and campaign for change".

Some 275 guests came along to Crisis at Christmas in Newcastle this year to enjoy hot food, entertainment, the use of an internet cafe, plus health and beauty services such as podiatry, eye tests and hairdressing.

There were also housing and employment advisers on duty as well as trained counsellors.

One of the most popular services was the Clothes Bank with hundreds of items from shoes to winter coats available for guests. Everyone who attended on either day also received a bag of Christmas goodies to take away with them.

A team of 200 volunteers are enlisted to run the two day project, including health specialists, musicians and catering professionals who all give up their holidays to help homeless people in Newcastle. All food, clothing and other vital supplies were donated by local people and companies.

June Grimes, Director of Crisis Skylight Newcastle, said: "Christmas can be a lonely and miserable time for homeless people, but through the kindness and generosity of local people and companies we’ve been able to make those days as positive an experience as possible. We hope to see many of our Christmas guests in the New Year coming along to Crisis Skylight’s new term of activities."

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