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Christmas 2017

Helping to make it a happy Christmas for all

12th December 2017

For the tenth consecutive year, Sungard Availability Services is happy to take part in the Crisis at Christmas campaign, supporting the charity’s vital work helping single homeless people nationwide. The charity’s centres aim to be the first step out of homelessness, providing thousands of people with a hot meal, medical help, dentistry, chiropody, eyecare, haircare and advice and company at what can be a very lonely time of year.

So instead of finding a traditional Christmas card in the post from us we’re sending customers this e-card[1].

Donations help Crisis’ centres provide:

  • Hot, delicious, nutritious Christmas dinners for over 4,700 homeless people over nine days
  • Advice on housing, benefits, finances, employment, as well as legal matters
  • Healthcare, including TB and hepatitis screenings
  • Dental treatment and eye tests, including glasses
  • Hairdressing and massage treatments
  • Learning and skills opportunities, internet cafés and IT workshops
  • Specialist centres providing safe accommodation to rough sleepers, women and people with dependency issues
  • Plus access to Crisis’ year-round services for training and support in the year ahead.

Crisis helps people like Dave who was fostered as a baby and brought up in care but had to fend for himself from the age of 16. He was working full time as a chef and competing in surfing festivals when he met Rachel, the love of his life, on the beach. He says, “We were together for thirteen years and had a family together but nine years ago she suddenly died when she was 28. She’d gone down to the do the laundry and when I went to find her she’d stopped breathing and turned blue. She had an undiagnosed hole in the heart. I tried to do CPR but I didn’t really know how to do it.”

Rachel was taken to hospital by helicopter but was dead on arrival. She was seven months pregnant with a baby boy. Dave recalls, “After Rachel died my head just broke down. I just didn’t have the answers for anyone. She was my soul mate and I got completely lost.”

“The Crisis at Christmas campaign aims to be the first step out of homelessness, providing thousands of people with a hot meal, medical help, dentistry, chiropody, eyecare, haircare and advice and company at what can be a very lonely time of year.”

— Crisis at Christmas campaign

After many years lost to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain, Dave eventually managed to get clean and get his life back on track. Four years ago, he met his beloved dog Tank but there’s only one place in any of the hostels in Plymouth that will take dogs so he’s on the waiting list for one in Bristol that does.

Dave says, “I like the fact that people can tell I’m a bit more bright-eyed and bushy tailed that many people on the street. I feel sorry for other people out here because I know how hard it is to have that habit and still try and make plans for the future. I’m blessed that I haven’t got that hold on me anymore. So if I make more money than I need for me and Tank to eat then I’ll give what’s left to those who need it more because I understand the necessity of it for them.

“I’m doing everything I can to be normal now. I’m in touch with my family again on Facebook and I’m saving £20 a week in a credit union. After 13 weeks that should be enough for a deposit on a bedsit. I’d like to work with the youth and use my story to help them stop making the same mistakes I did.”

If your organisation is interested in supporting the work of Crisis, you can find out more about commercial partnerships here.

“It costs just £26.08 to reserve a place at Crisis for someone who’s homeless this Christmas.”

— Crisis at Christmas campaign

Alternatively, if you’re interested in supporting their work on a personal level, you can make a donation or find out about the many other ways you can help here.

Whatever you do and whoever you spend it with, everyone here at Sungard Availability Services wishes you and your family a happy, healthy Christmas and New Year!

[1] – http://crisischristmascard.org.uk/sungard/