You may recall that last December, Sungard Availability Services made a donation to the homeless charity Crisis instead of sending company Christmas cards.

Thanks to the support of individual and corporate donors like us, Crisis was able to open 14 Crisis at Christmas centres in London, Birmingham, Coventry, Newcastle and Edinburgh to provide warmth, comfort, companionship and hot meals to over 4,500 guests over the festive period.  More than 37,552 nutritious meals were served to guests who were also able to receive healthcare consultations and specialist advice on housing, immigration and getting back into work.

Among the guests were Alison and Ben. For months, home for them was a tent in a park. At Crisis, mother and son enjoyed warmth, entertainment and meeting others “in the same boat”. After using the housing advice available, Alison now feels hopeful about the future. “Crisis at Christmas has opened doors which were closed,” she says.

Showing the sheer scale of activity in the centres, Matthew Skaife, Corporate Partnerships Account Manager for Crisis, says, “Guests were seen by doctors, nurses and pharmacists in healthcare clinics, received haircuts, new clothes and had older clothes repaired. London football clubs treated our guests to tickets, trainers and kit and hosted a football tournament at Arsenal’s training facility.

“Four dental units worked flat out every day, foot care and eye care teams sorted out guests’ feet and issued free prescription glasses. There was wonderful art being created, creative and poetry writing crafted and performed, films being watched in our ten cinemas, bands and performers being enjoyed and karaoke being endured. A singer from Coldplay came to sing songs with guests, providing backing vocals.

“There were thousands of sessions in our ten IT cafes. Many guests just relaxed in our cafes and libraries or played chess and board games while many more just sat and chatted to the many volunteers who had given up their Christmas to make a difference.”

We’re sure you’ll agree it was money well spent.

If you’d like to join us in supporting the work of Crisis, you’ll find ways you can help here.

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