Help a homeless family this Christmas

DON'T forget the children at Christmas - that was the plea today from bosses at Ipswich's homeless family unit at West Villa.And the borough also announced moves to make more beds available for rough sleepers over the festive period.

DON'T forget the children at Christmas - that was the plea today from bosses at Ipswich's homeless family unit at West Villa.

And the borough also announced moves to make more beds available for rough sleepers over the festive period.

Between December 22 and January 2 there will be five extra beds a night available for rough sleepers in the town.

More than 20 families will be spending the Christmas season in West Villa and borough housing spokesman Steven Wells said this would be a very difficult time of the year for them.

He said: “There are two reasons for families to end up at West Villa - because of a breakdown in a relationship or because of poverty.

“Either way it is very difficult for the children - and for those children whose families are in extreme poverty the outlook for Christmas is very bleak.

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“Their friends at school are all looking forward to presents and a magical time of the year, but those in West Villa don't have that ahead.

“If people can donate presents it can make their Christmas so much better.”

Any donations of toys or gifts this year can be dropped off at the Town Hall or at Grafton House. Gifts should be marked with the age and sex of the child it is intended for.

Mr Wells said there was a need to provide more beds for the homeless at this time of year because family tensions could sometimes boil over and force people to leave their homes.

He said: “It can be very difficult when everyone else seems to be having a good time - but there is a need for more space for those who might otherwise end up sleeping rough over the Christmas period.

"Anyone who uses the beds will be advised to speak to our housing team at the Customer Services Centre in the Town Hall after the New Year to make sure they can get help with their housing problems."

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