Mayor backs £50K fundraising for reopening of Prebend Homeless Centre

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Bedford’s Mayor, Dave Hodgson has backed SMART CJS’ annual Cold Relief in Bedford (CRIB) appeal to raise £50k to reopen the Prebend Homeless Centre.

The Centre temporarily closed in March 2020 due to COVID-19 regulations. At the time, it was not possible to create a complaint space with social distancing and one-way traffic.

SMART plan to reopen the centre in early 2022 now that restrictions have lifted, and refurbishment has been carried out.

The Mayor said: “We need facilities like the Prebend Centre open again to provide shelter and food to those in need. I am backing the CRIB appeal and hope many others in Bedford will as well. Donating £10 will provide a hot lunch for 3 people, for example.”

Anita McCallum, SMART CJS CEO, said the £50,000 target will help them, ‘serve warm meals again and provide a welcoming space for those who are often isolated and give them the opportunity to come in from the cold and find some friendly faces.’

She thanked the Mayor and everyone who has donated toiletries, winter clothing and money. She said: “You are all superstars!”

SMART CJS provided provide safe spaces for people affected by homelessness, substance misuse, mental health issues, and other complex problems.

They provided 24/7 hotel support for rough sleepers and the homeless in Bedford throughout the pandemic. They had no breaks in service.

They aim to provide people with the support they need to move on and maintain their independence long term.

So far they have reached 25% of their target for the Preband Centre so still have a way to go.

To donate, visit here.

To find out more about the SMART Preband centre, visit here.

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