£2k boost for SMART Prebend Centre from Rotary Club of Bedford Park

Prebend Day Centre
The Prebend Day Centre praised Bedford Independent readers for helping them smash their fundraising target in March 2019

The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating affect on charitable donations and the SMART Prebend Centre is among many charities that have lost income that is vital to their survival.

However, they have received a welcome boost from the Rotary Club of Bedford Park who have donated £2,000 to the homeless support charity, helping them at this crucial time.

Due to current social distancing rules, Mark Ward, President of The Rotary Club of Bedford Park, wasn’t able to make the presentation in person, so instead presented a virtual cheque for £2,000 to SMART CJS CEO, Anita McCallum.

The Prebend Centre for the homeless of Bedford relies on the support and kindness of local groups like the Rotary Club of Bedford Park.

Sadly, due to lockdown, many core supporters are no longer able to meet and raise funds to keep the centre going, and SMART staff confirm that they cannot survive without this vital income.

MART Prebend Rotary Club virtual cheque
Mark Ward, President of The Rotary Club of Bedford Park, presents a virtual cheque to SMART CJS CEO, Anita McCallum (high res image requested)

The Prebend Centre is a safe place for the homeless and socially isolated of Bedford to eat, shower and access advice and support.

The centre has been hit hard by COVID-19 and is currently closed to conform with government guidance. But this has not stopped the team, who have relocated to hotel accommodation, with a revised service model, allowing rough sleepers to self-isolate, helping to protect the NHS and keep everyone safe.

Read: Town centre hotel opens doors to all Bedford’s rough-sleepers

“We are thankful to the loyal and constant support from The Rotary Club of Bedford Park– not only for their generous financial donation, but also for all that they do to help in many other ways. Heartfelt thanks for your ongoing support – we could not do it without you,” said Anita McCallum, SMART CJS’s CEO.

“The money donated will go towards the £25,000 emergency COVID-19 appeal. The fundraiser has been launched to raise money to replace lost donations due to the current crisis and to provide essential services from our emergency rough sleeper base in Bedford.

“Thanks to our incredible supporters, we have raised more than £10,000, but this is not enough to fill the gap.

“More people will become homeless due to the pandemic and the centre will be relied upon more than ever before. Please donate, so we can keep going right now and so we can reopen the centre as soon as safely possible.”

The Rotary Club of Bedford Park are longstanding supporters of the Prebend Centre and have recently helped to paint accommodation to help a homeless person move on to their own home. Most recently club members have been volunteering to help at the new hotel-based operation.

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