Donations have been coming in to support homeless people this Christmas.
The Messenger is supporting the work of Gravesham Sanctuary, based at Gravesend Methodist Church Community Centre.
We appealed to readers to help – and you responded.
So far, we have had donations of clothes – including shirts, T-shirts, jumpers, sweatshirts, trousers and shorts – a sleeping bag, cash and toiletries so people can freshen up under a warm shower.
The staff of Sanctuary offer food and support all year round but operations step up as winter kicks in and their services become ever more vital.
A drop-in centre runs throughout the year, a hot evening meal is available from October to June and a night shelter runs from December to March.
The charity is part of a food share scheme with Tesco – where the supermarket donates unsold food to charity – but will still welcome food donations from the public.
It is also running an appeal to raise £13,000 to buy an industrial washing machine as the small machine that has been used for the past three years struggles to cope.
Husband and wife team Stephen and Lorna Nolan co-ordinate the support, helped by a small band of volunteers.
They distribute the items, and make sure everything is put to good use, especially the food.
Lorna said: “Whatever we don’t use we would put into the food bank as long as it’s in date.
“Nothing goes to waste. We use everything and anything we get.”
Anyone wanting to help out – or in need of help – can phone Sanctuary on 07496 832 228.
Items can be dropped off at the Messenger’s office at 7 High Street, Gravesend.
Sanctuary is a project of City Praise Centre, working in partnership with Gravesend Methodist Church and Churches Together in Gravesham.
Volunteers come from a range of different churches and backgrounds, including non-religious backgrounds, and more are welcome to join.
Details on how to support Sanctuary can be found at www.graveshamsanctuary.uk.