On Friday 3rd February a charity gig and auction at the newly refurbished East Kent Pub in Whitstable raised an impressive £3370 to be split between Catching Lives and the Canterbury Housing Advice Centre (CHAC).
The event began with music by local musician ‘Dave La’ before moving on to a charity auction of prizes donated by local businesses and individuals, including a taster menu for four people with a selection of wine at The Sportsman in Seasalter; a ‘beach hut for the day with picnic’ from JoJos in Tankerton; prints from local photographers Michael Marsh and George Fisk; a Stunt Kite from Kites and Things; facial from Room 92; vouchers from local businesses including Staines Veg Shop and Pure. The idea for the event was born from a conversation between Nick Piska (chair of CHAC) and Catching Lives’ volunteer nurse Nikki Davies about working together to raise important funds and awareness for their charities.
Nikki Davies says, “I joined Catching Lives as a volunteer nurse in January 2016 after hearing about the new medical services that were being developed to support homeless people in the Canterbury area. Whilst supporting the clients who came to me in the daycentre, I noticed there were occasions where people were unable to be offered a space in the Canterbury Community Shelter due to a limit on how many spaces were available. It has been brilliant to see that this winter the number of spaces available has been increased to 20, however this also drastically increases running costs and so I decided to do what I could to help raise funds to ensure Catching Lives can continue to offer overnight shelter to as many homeless people as possible during the coldest months of the year. We were delighted to sell 130 tickets (making the event a sell-out) and thank everyone for coming along to show their support for both Catching Lives and CHAC.
Nick Piska, Chair of CHAC says, “I give my thanks to every single person who has supported this joint fundraising event which will help us continue to offer support to those who need it the most. Based in Canterbury, CHAC provides a free, confidential, independent and impartial advice service on housing issues with the aim of preventing homelessness. CHAC also holds a drop-in service from 1pm-3pm at the Whitstable Umbrella Centre (located on Oxford Street) every Wednesday.
Catching Lives Project leader Graeme Solly says, “It was brilliant to see so many people join us on the evening and the money raised will help to ensure we continue running vital services for the homeless people in the Canterbury area, such as the Canterbury Community Shelter. Catching Lives provides important services to those that are homeless such as nutritious meals, showers, laundry facilities, clothing, a postal address, support from volunteer nurses, our Mental Health Outreach Service, assistance in registering with a GP, and advice and advocacy on all aspects of homelessness and housing status. I would like to say thank you to everyone who helped organise the event, all those who donated items for the raffle and auction and of course to East Kent Pub for hosting us.