Salvation Army on a mission to ‘bring comfort and joy’ to Peterborough this Christmas

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Charity aims to help those affected by isolation, anxiety or homelessness over the festive period

While Christmas is generally seen as a time of merriment and togetherness, it can be a time of great anxiety, loneliness and discomfort for many.

This is something of which The Salvation Army is acutely aware.

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This year, like so many before, the Christian charity organisation will be marshalling its members to help support those who feel they have little to celebrate this Yuletide season.

The Salvation Army is on a mission to bring comfort and joy to people across our region this Christmas (image: Getty)The Salvation Army is on a mission to bring comfort and joy to people across our region this Christmas (image: Getty)
The Salvation Army is on a mission to bring comfort and joy to people across our region this Christmas (image: Getty)

“For The Salvation Army, part of celebrating the birth of Jesus at Christmas means doing what we can to bring comfort and joy to people who are struggling to feel the spirit of Christmas,” said Salvation Army officer, Major Jo Moir.

In some cases, Jo observed, this could be achieved by offering “emergency practical help” like providing “a warm coat and a hot meal” for someone shivering in the cold.

“We also bring joy or emotional support by holding Christmas dinners for people who are lonely and isolated,” she added, “or offering a welcoming space so people can come in for a chat and a cup of tea.”

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Worrying research carried out recently by The Salvation Army revealed more than a third of people said their feelings of hope were at an all-time low this Christmas.

The survey of more than 5,000 people identified the cost of living (54%), the state of the world (32%), and paying for presents (28%) as the most pressing concerns on most respondents’ minds.

“This research shows the growing level of need in the East of England,” Jo acknowledged: “But at The Salvation Army we feel hopeful because we can help.”

As someone who has been directly aided by The Salvation Army, Scott Clark Bartlett agrees wholeheartedly with this sentiment:

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“Having experienced several periods of homelessness, I was lucky to be supported by The Salvation Army in getting a place to stay,” he recalled.

“I spent last Christmas in a house and it was the most enjoyable Christmas Day I’ve ever had, being around people I call my friends.”

Now actively looking for work, Scott feels optimistic about the future.

“The charity has given me an immense sense of hope and I am hopeful that next Christmas I will be in my own place, cooking for my family.”