Now in its eleventh year, Peabody has kickstarted its annual ‘Peabody elves’ campaign to ensure as many families as possible have gifts to open on Christmas day. With its corporate partners and a cohort of volunteers, the organisation is aiming to support 67 housing schemes with Christmas hampers and 500 households with food and toy vouchers.
Colleagues from across Peabody are getting involved by calling residents to pass on the news and deliver the festive parcels.
Peabody has introduced ‘cosy corners’ at some of its community centres this year – and everyone’s welcome.
Residents are being encouraged to pop in for a free tea or coffee, use the charging points, pick up useful tips on saving energy and money, or ask about other help and support.
Peabody’s website has a list of community centres that are providing cosy corners and what’s available in each.
Every winter, Peabody colleagues visit residents aged 75 and over to make sure they’re warm and well. They check heating is working, organise any repairs and offer any other support if needed – such as help with paying bills.
Peabody’s local housing teams are writing to older residents to let them know when the visits are happening. Employees always wear identification and are encouraging residents to check before letting anyone in.
More information – including how residents can request a visit at a specific time – is available on Peabody’s website.
For people struggling to buy food, Peabody is sign-posting residents to the food banks in their area that can help.
A full list of food banks for London and the Home Counties is available on Peabody’s website.
Peabody’s Darwin Court Food Hub – which opened in August – is offering free food parcels to all Peabody residents on Tuesdays between 9.30am and 12.30pm and Thursdays between 3.30pm and 6.30pm.
Elsewhere, Peabody’s Outreach Team in Essex is delivering food hampers to residents who are facing difficulties this Christmas, such as the risk of homelessness. Last year the service sent out 76 food packages containing a variety of festive treats, to help brighten the season for those in need.
More help and advice
Peabody’s website has lots of hints and tips on staying warm and safe at home this winter, plus information on how to reduce energy bills and find additional support locally if needed.
Sahil Khan, Peabody’s Director of Community Strategy, Partnerships and Funding, said: “The winter can be difficult for many people, and we want residents to know we’re here to help them as much as possible. From our ‘Peabody elves’ sending out Christmas packages to families, to our ‘cosy corners’ offering warmth and respite, we’re doing all we can to ensure everyone who needs support gets it.”