Eastbourne charity suffers slump in donations

Volunteers with some of the donated items
Volunteers with some of the donated items

DONATIONS of food to help Eastbourne’s homeless people at Christmas slumped this year.

Organisers of the Give a Little Tin Appeal, which encourages people to donate food to homeless and vulnerable members of the community, said this year’s campaign was not supported as well as in its previous 14 years.

Each year the town’s main superstores, Tesco’s, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and ASDA, have collection boxes in store for four weeks in the run up to Christmas. The food is then packed by an army of volunteers and distributed to more than 300 families living in temporary accommodation, homeless, vulnerable and lonely people.

But it became clear as packers made up parcels at the citadel in Langney Road two days before Christmas, there was nowhere near as many donations of food as in previous years.

Pauline Peagam, community development worker at the Salvation Army, said, “We were definitely down on donations this and if it hadn’t been for the harvest festival stuff from the schools, we would have struggled even more.”

The Eastbourne Gazette and Herald runs the appeal in conjunction with the Salvation Army.

The annual toy appeal run by the Salvation Army was also down in donations. Donated toys are wrapped and distributed to needy children across the town.

“The toys were down as well,” said Pauline. “We were lucky to have some donations from individual companies which helped out. I think it’s a sign of the times.”