Appeal for presents and food for homeless centre
11th December 2012
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A centre for the homeless and unemployed is appealing for people to donate Christmas presents and food to help families in need.

Pitstop, a charity based in Leatherhead Football Club grounds, has more than 30 visitors a day and takes parcels to 12 families in the community every week.

The centre hosts an annual Christmas dinner at Fetcham Village Hall and Father Christmas will take presents to families they support on December 18.

Coordinator Graham Peddie, 74, said: "Lately we have had more families come in.

"We have had a few more people who wouldn't normally come to a place like this to seek help.

"They lose a job and it goes on. It could happen to any of us tomorrow."

The centre is appealing for presents for adults and children plus donations of non-perishable food, including tins and power, as well as toiletries.

Mr Peddie said the homeless, mentally ill and ex-offenders are among visitors who come to the centre for lunch, training sessions and company.

He said: "It's helpful for people in need to know there is somewhere they can go for advice and food."

The charity also has drop-in sessions at Epsom Baptist Church hall on Fridays.

A former homeless man, 55, now runs art lessons at Pitstop and managed to get a studio flat in Dorking last year.

He said: "It helps people out and you feel better in yourself. If you do nothing then it gets you down."

The volunteer drifted for years and lived on streets after coming out of a relationship, losing his job and not being able to pay the mortgage.

He said: "I just threw the keys at the front gate and took a walk and kipped down ever since until now.

"It's a chain reaction. You get in that cycle and you've got to break it. "

Donations can be dropped off at:

Pitstop, Leatherhead Football Club, Fetcham Grove, Guildford Road, Leatherhead, KT22 9AS; Monday to Friday; 10 to 4.30pm.

The Living Room; Epsom Baptist Church hall, 6b Church Street, Epsom, KT17 4NY; Friday; 10am to 4pm.

If donating presents please mark parcels to indicate the age and sex of intended recipients.

For more information visit, call 01372 363003 or email

Article from Alice Foster at epsomguardian


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