Kind-hearted Rayleigh residents are making sure homeless families have the basic supplies to make a new start in 2018.
Sanctuary Housing is refurbishing Frances Cottee Lodge, in Clarence Road, into 15 flats which are being let to families, couples and individuals who have been made homeless.
Work is now nearly complete and residents moving in are receiving items such as milk, tea, washing-up liquid and toilet rolls as part of welcome packs to help them settle into their homes.
The packs are being donated by Churches For Rayleigh and being personally delivered by the Friends of Frances Cottee Lodge.
They also include a welcome card hand-made by members of the local Girls’ Brigade and information on support services offered by local churches.
The group was set up by local residents to help people adapt to their new homes. By providing local accommodation people are also able stay in the district and children can continue to attend the same schools.
Previous residents at Frances Cottee Lodge have all been found suitable alternative accommodation elsewhere in the area.
Emma Keegan, Sanctuary’s Managing Director in Rochford, said: “Work to transform Frances Cottee Lodge is almost complete and we have started to welcome residents to their new homes.
“The Friends of Frances Cottee Lodge was established to provide a support network for the people living there and the welcome packs are a great example of this.”
Keith Norman, Secretary of Churches For Rayleigh, said: “We wanted to welcome the new residents and show our support, and producing these packs for the Friends of Frances Cottee Lodge has proved a success.
“It is never easy when someone first moves into unfamiliar accommodation and these items will help them to start life in their new home straight away.
“On a personal note, it struck me that we live in a very fragile society and if it was me in this situation, I would want people to be considerate to me.”