Estate agents Michael Graham have handed over a massive £18,362.61 raised from hosting a black-tie glitter ball in October, to help the homeless across Milton Keynes.
The goal was to enable the Citizens Advice Milton Keynes to place an advisor in a food bank in the town to help tackle the root causes of homelessness, a strategy that had been successfully trialled earlier in the year, but which had been unable to continue due to lack of funds.
The success of the fundraising will also allow a select number of Citizens Advice volunteers to be trained as advocates, helping vulnerable people to access the support they need and empowering them to stand up for their rights.
Carly O’Brien, head of marketing at Michael Graham who co-ordinated the company-wide fundraising initiative, said: “We wanted to draw attention to the scale of homelessness in and around Milton Keynes and are thrilled to be able to donate such a great amount, especially at this time of year. 2018 was just the start of our partnership with Citizens Advice and we’re looking forward to raising as much as we can again next year.”
Ben Thomas, director of Citizens Advice Milton Keynes, says this money couldn’t have come at a better time. He said: “The changes to welfare mean there is now a five to six week wait before people can get their first payment of universal credit, leaving many without the funds to pay for food or shelter. Michael Graham’s very generous donation will help us to provide a lifeline to local people who are facing real and enduring hardship - not just at this time of year, but all year round.”
The foodbank at The Christian Centre in Oldbrook is open every Monday from 2pm to 3pm and a Citizens Advice volunteer will be there from January.
Citizens Advice Milton Keynes is a charity and so relies heavily on public donations and grants.
If you’d like to join Michael Graham in helping them to make a positive difference to the homeless in and around Milton Keynes, you can find all the ways to donate or get involved on the Citizens Advice website at www.miltonkeynescab.org.uk