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Southall Waterside Bhangra dances into Christmas with HSSH

Over £85,000 has been raised to date by Berkeley West Thames for its designated charity, Hope for Southall Street Homeless (HSSH), after Berkeley gave its most recent donation for £20,000 at a Christmas celebration event last Monday (16 December).

The money has been raised through a number of initiatives held onsite and in the local community, helping HSSH continue to tackle homelessness in Southall.

The partnership has enabled the charity to recruit a full-time complex needs case worker who supports individuals to reconnect with family and provides access to health and employment services. The case worker also helps to raise awareness of the charity's shelter, which provides accommodation, meals and washing facilities to homeless people in Southall - particularly important in the cold winter months.

Navraj Singh from Hope for Southall Street Homeless said: "Donations of this significance allow us to make a real difference and are vital for us to be able to continue our work in Southall. Homelessness is rising across London and the generosity of those who donate allows us to continue to support people to come off the street and take other steps towards a healthier, more sustainable future."

The most recent donation was given by Berkeley West Thames at a Christmas celebration which saw nearly 200 people from the local community come and join in the festivities at Southall Waterside, including Virendra Sharma MP. Some of the onsite team who are part of building the development spread the Christmas cheer at Southall station to kick things off. Four of the team from contractor JGL, who are part of a professional choir, collected donations at the station and then carried on carolling on their way to the celebration at Southall Waterside.

Mince pies and hot drinks were offered by Ealing Youth Engagement Programme and students from West London College. The perfect festive backdrop came from local school children who sang Christmas carols alongside a musical fun bus packed with games provided by Catalyst - one of the housing associations at Southall Waterside. Younger guests also had the chance to meet Santa in his brand new sleigh, which was built by students from West London College. To wrap up the festivities, a local bhangra dancing group taught some moves to the crowd before finishing with a bhangra dancing performance to some classic Christmas songs.

HSSH is running a winter clothing collection appeal throughout December and January and anyone can donate to the collection point at St Anselm's Church. Items required include: sleeping bags, blankets, warm jumpers and jackets, as well as underwear, socks, toothbrushes and toothpaste. Donations will be accepted daily between 10:30am to 3pm until 31 January.

Julian Bell, Leader of Ealing Council commented: "There are a number of reasons a person can become homeless and the council's priority is to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place.

"We have trained staff to provide advice and a range of support services, including helping people into employment and training. It's important that we help the homeless in our communities and we work closely with local charities such as HSSH that are invaluable in the ways they support those in need on their doorstep."

Damian Leydon, Operations Director at Berkeley West Thames, said: "We're very proud of our partnership with Hope for Southall Street Homeless and are delighted to have raised over £85,000 to date. We want to encourage everyone to give what they can and look out for other chances to get involved and support the charity."