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Cambridgeshire housing charity launches 5th shoebox Christmas appeal

Andrew Church, CHS Group’s Director of Community said: “We’re so excited to be launching our annual Shoebox Appeal and are looking forward to making it bigger and better than ever before on its fifth anniversary”

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CHS Group, a charitable housing association and social enterprise based in Cambridgeshire, has launched its annual Shoebox Appeal for the fifth year running. The campaign was first set up in 2018 to ensure that young people supported by CHS Group’s housing services have a gift at Christmas time.

CHS Group provides a number of accommodation and support services in Ely, Wisbech and Cambridge – supporting young people aged 16-24 years old who would otherwise be homeless, as well as people with learning disabilities and those experiencing mental health issues.

The appeal invites individuals, schools, churches, businesses, and community groups to donate a shoebox or gift bag filled with a range of Christmas gifts.

Previous supporters include St Faiths School, Morley Memorial School, CB3 Consulting, Sawston Village College, Ladies Golf Team at Cambridge Country Club, Friends of Little Thetford School, RxBiologics and Methodist Churches across the Fens.

CHS Group launches annual Shoebox Appeal to bring Christmas cheer to young people across Cambridgeshire

CHS Group launches annual Shoebox Appeal to bring Christmas cheer to young people across Cambridgeshire

Suggested donations include gender-neutral presents such as toiletries, clothing, sweets, treats, stationery, and gift cards. Personal notes or messages are also encouraged. As in previous years, any surplus boxes or items received will be distributed to other community groups and charities across Cambridgeshire which also support vulnerable people such as other supported housing services and local foodbanks.

Andrew Church, CHS Group’s Director of Community said: We’re so excited to be launching our annual Shoebox Appeal and are looking forward to making it bigger and better than ever before on its fifth anniversary. Since the very beginning in 2018, we’ve had tremendous support from members of the community and local organisations, and we hope that this year will bring much of the same.

“Against the backdrop of the cost-of-living crisis, helping the Cambridgeshire community has been a top priority of ours and giving support to people in need at Christmas time drives our ambition to build on the success of the Appeal. Whether you’re able to give a shoebox filled with goodies, individual items to go towards a filled shoebox, a donation to our JustGiving page, or even simply an empty shoebox or giftbag for us to fill, it all makes a huge difference.”

CHS Group is welcoming donations from now until 15 December

What to do

  1. Wrap a box with Christmas paper or use a gift bag, please do not wrap individual items
  2. Fill it with a variety of different items from the suggestion list
  3. Include a card and message (optional)
  4. Gender neutral gifts are preferred but please label the box if gender specific, leaving the box/gift bag unsealed
  5. Drop the box off at any of our drop off locations. Or make a donation and we will make up a box for you


Suggestions list

  • New/unopened toiletries—toothbrushes/paste, shampoo/conditioner, deodorant, shower gel, hair gel, nail polish.
  • Clothing—hats, scarf, gloves, socks, underwear, pyjamas (medium).
  • Food—chocolate/sweets, biscuits, selection boxes, savoury snacks
  • Stationary—pens, notepads, games/cards.
  • Gift cards—supermarket or coffee shops
  • Strictly no alcohol, tobacco, or cash please


Donations can be dropped off at the following locations and times:


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  • Head Office – Endurance House, Chivers Way Histon CB24 9ZR

Monday – Friday 9am -12pm & 2.30pm – 5pm (please avoid 12 – 2.30pm)

  • Russell Street – 82 Russell Street Cambridge CB2 1HU

Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm


  • Wheatsheaf Close – 1 Wheatsheaf Close Ely CB6 3YJ

Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm


  • 204 – 204, Norwich Road, Wisbech, PE13 3TD

Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm

  • Fenland Young People’s Service – The Staithe, Holmes Drive, Wisbech, P13 3TJ

Monday – Friday 9am –5pm


About the CHS Group – in their own words

CHS Group is a charitable housing association, established in 1927, providing high quality and good value affordable housing together with support, care, and community services. CHS is here to support people to achieve a better quality of life. We offer good value services that all of us would be proud to use.

CHS is all about people. We’re about the 7,000 people living in our affordable homes and the 2,000 people who choose to rely on our care, support, and community investment services. And we’re about the CHS team of 170 people who spend time listening to customers to make sure we deliver the high-quality services they want.

We work across Cambridgeshire; providing services that give people opportunities to achieve what they want and a better quality of life. Founded in 1927, our experience means we take both the long-term view and a fresh look at issues which cut across traditional boundaries. We take pride in our capacity to innovate, to work with partners, to provide value and create new opportunities and choices.


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