This Christmas, Progress Housing Group has been incredibly proud to support a number of charity and community initiatives to benefit our local communities.

As well as leading our own campaigns to support our refuges and homelessness schemes, helping to bring Christmas to women, children, and young people fleeing domestic abuse and homelessness, some of our incredible colleagues have also managed appeals for our most vulnerable tenants, our older tenants, and our supported housing schemes, amongst others.

We have also been delighted to support some wonderful community-led fundraising initiatives and appeals through our Community Investment Fund, our Emergency Fund which, was set up to help projects that would benefit people impacted by COVID-19, and our Charity Fund.

Some of the fantastic work we've supported leading up to and over the Christmas period is listed below.

Please follow each link below to find out more about that initiative.

Progress Housing Group-led initiatives

Refuges and Homelessness Schemes – Due to COVID-19 restrictions, our annual Wish Tree transformed into an online Wish List this year

For 19 years, our refuge and homelessness services have provided a ‘Wish Tree’ Christmas campaign to give gifts to women and children fleeing domestic abuse and staying in our refuges, and homeless young people staying in our supported housing schemes. This year, people donated a gift online which directly benefitted victims of domestic abuse staying in our refuges and children and young people who are homeless.

Housing Management Team – a number of fundraisers and collections were organised for our families in need, including raising money to provide hampers for our most vulnerable tenants

The impact of Covid-19 has left our most vulnerable tenants who need extra support to maintain a tenancy struggling this year. Our Community Support Officer, Sarah, raised funds to provide Christmas hampers with a difference.

Christmas craft packs and mince pies for our Independent Living tenants

Over the past few weeks, Danielle, the Group's Activities Coordinator, created and delivered Christmas craft packs for residents to design and create their own Christmas cards, and the Group funded 1,400 mince pies to be delivered to all of our residents. 

Our annual alternative Christmas card raised £206 for Mind charity

Support from our Charity Fund

Grace and Emily, the daughters of two of our Progress Lifeline colleagues, received a £500 donation from our charity fund towards their fundraising for Derian House.

The girls raised over £2,250 by carol singing around their home village of Euxton and have now been invited to sing at the hospice and present their donations.

Another colleague received a £300 donation to provide hampers to young people staying at Parker House and The Bridge and to sponsor Christmas Day for a tenant's family. This amount was then match-funded by the Group to provide additional hampers for some of our tenants in our general needs properties.

The following campaigns received a donation from our Emergency Fund:

South Ribble’s Big Christmas Sleepover – working with The Place and The Base community centres in Leyland, this community project provided new pyjamas and Christmas Eve bags for children and young people in South Ribble who needed them the most.

The Place and The Base community centres - an additional grant for these two Leyland community centres helped contribute to the Big Christmas Sleepover project.

Miles of Smiles - is a charity that, in more normal times, tries to bring smiles to children and young people who are young carers or the siblings of children who have life-limiting conditions. As they cannot currently organise ‘treats’ they made Christmas bags to raise a smile.

TippyToes BabyBank – applied for funding for the work they are doing in the South Ribble area to support families with babies and small children.

Dollies Dezigns – put on Christmas crafting workshops and produced activity and craft bags to be distributed to the community over the festive season.

Inspire Teen appeal - On Christmas Eve, Inspire Youth Zone in Chorley, will be inviting local children and young people, who for most Christmas is just another incredibly difficult day, to join them for their own (Covid-secure) Christmas experience.

Mission Christmas Appeal (Rock FM) – Approximately 50 of Key’s families and 13 Progress Futures families benefit from Rock FM’s Cash for Kids Mission Christmas appeal every year. And this year, we also gave back to this charity by providing a grant of £500 from our Emergency Fund and donating £3,000 from our Community Investment Fund to help children and young people across Lancashire receive at least one present to unwrap on Christmas morning.

Christmas conference hampers - 
After an incredibly difficult year, the Group was delighted to send hampers containing locally-sourced and sustainable products to all our colleagues to say a huge thank you. As part of this project, the Group also donated the equivalent price of a meal per colleague to a homelessness project.

Donations of £500 each have been agreed to support the following foodbanks and homelessness projects:

Support for homeless/destitute refugees in Bolton
Support for homeless/destitute refugees in Greater Manchester
Living Waters Food Bank
Help the Homeless in Chorley
South Ribble Foodbank
Leyland Foodbank
Fareshare Lancashire and Cumbria

We feel privileged to have been in a position to contribute to making Christmas that little bit easier and happier for many people in our local communities.

I think you'll all agree, it's wonderful to see all these Christmas community and charitable projects, that we've been lucky enough to be able to support, all listed here together.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas