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St Petrock’s Christmas Appeal 2023

No one chooses to sleep on the streets, over the safety of a warm dry bed under a secure roof.

***Christmas Appeal as of Mon 11th Dec is ... £14,724.88 ... Thank you so much!***

Sleeping rough at Christmas

Homelessness is the result of complex trauma, often starting in early childhood, that means people are unable to hold down housing.

More recently, this has been compounded by the cost-of-living crisis we are all experiencing.

At Christmas, rough sleeping becomes even more painful as the festivities serve to highlight the extreme poverty for those without a home.

It also brings back difficult memories of past Christmases, whether these are memories of love and joy that have since been lost, or traumatic memories fuelled by festive excesses.

This year, as always, we will be providing a full Christmas lunch for all our clients on the big day, along with gifts to show that they are valued and cared for.

But we do so much more than offer some seasonal good cheer. We’re here all year round, providing food and drinks twice a day to people who are homeless, clothing and laundry, showers, sleeping bags, help to access healthcare and mental health support. As well as assistance to find housing or claim benefits, and so much more.

We also provide accommodation for people without a home, and are actively looking to purchase more properties in the coming months.

We receive the vast majority of our funding from the community. Each day we’re humbled by the generosity of local residents, faith organisations and businesses.

However, the demand for our services is higher than ever and your donation will help us support all those who need us.

PS. By becoming a Friend or Partner of St Petrock’s, you can also become part of our story by committing to making a regular monthly donation to support our work throughout the year.

We can't do this without you

If you wish to donate items, here’s our Christmas wish-list, which gives you an idea of what our clients most need during December.

Thank you so very much for donating to help people without a home in Exeter this Christmas. We can’t do this without you.

Our mobile rough sleeper outreach service will be going out twice each weekday throughout the Christmas period, serving hot meals, checking on people’s welfare and arranging visits to our centre for specialist one-to-one support.  Survival services, including showers, clothing, sleeping bags and laundry facilities will be available as usual in our centre, and our experienced team will be working hard to support people into accommodation, help them set up benefits claims and access healthcare, and more.

Yes, Christmas can be a particularly tough time of year for people without a home – social isolation and loneliness can feel acute.  We’ll be working on Christmas Day to give extra support for those that want it.  Our team will be serving a full Christmas lunch, with all the trimmings, and there will be plenty of gifts and festive treats to share around.

However, some people find it less painful to avoid or downplay seasonal traditions.  We do our best to respond sensitively and meet everyone’s needs.


Our client support services are open throughout the Christmas period, including Christmas Day. However, we are closed on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

There are also a wonderful range of local voluntary groups who work together to ensure that people without a home can get a hot meal every evening of the week and at weekends when we are closed.  Please see our Free Food Guide for details.

Your financial gifts are the most impactful way of making a long-lasting difference – not just at Christmas, but to help people move away from homelessness in the year ahead.

As a small independent charity, we simply couldn’t do this without the support of the Exeter community.

Over half of our income each year comes directly from generous local supporters, as we work together to address homelessness in our city.

Monthly Standing Order: Become a Friend of St Petrock’s by setting up a monthly donation to support our work without a home.  We’ll send you regular newsletters so you can see the difference your ongoing support is making throughout the year.


If you’re stuck for gift ideas, making a donation to help someone without a home in lieu of a present can make a meaningful difference (and it’s a bit more original than another pair of Christmas socks!)

We’d love to send a personalised gift certificate so that the recipient can see how your gift has helped. We can send this via email to you (to print to go in a Christmas card for example) or directly to the recipient, or put one in the post.

Please send us an email entitled GIFT CERTIFICATE at with:

-Your name

-The date and amount of your donation

-The name of your recipient (as you’d like it to appear on the certificate)

-The email / postal address where you would like to receive the certificate

Thank you so much for your support.

Yes please!

If you fancy doing a sponsored Christmas Fancy Dress Day in the office, Santa Fun Run or creative sponsorship event, you can set up an online JustGiving fundraising page here to share with your friends and gather support.

We can also supply you with collection tins, leaflets and other publicity material if you’re going carol singing or organising an in-person event.  Do get in touch at / 01392 422396 to let us know what you’re planning and see what we can do to help make it a success

We do give out gifts on Christmas Day and welcome donations of rough-sleeper survival items too.  Please see our Christmas Wishlist for details of what to give.

Please note that gifts should be given loose, in carrier bags or wrapped in paper – NO SHOEBOXES please, as unfortunately they are not well-suited to the streets and tend to cause litter.

As a small charity with very limited storage space, we can get a little overwhelmed by physical donations at Christmas!  Please help us by letting us know when you will be dropping off any large donations to: Petrock’s Place Shop, 19 Paris Street, Exeter EX1 2JB (opening hours 11am-5.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday).

Yes we do!

By purchasing a much-needed survival gift from our Amazon Wishlist, you ensure we can supply the specific items our homeless clients need, exactly when they need them.  Items are delivered directly to St Petrock’s and are hugely appreciated.  Thank you!

If you have secondhand survival items or small gifts to donate directly, please take a look at what’s needed on our Christmas Wishlist too.

No – but thank you for thinking of us.

As a small charity with an even smaller kitchen, we unfortunately have limited one-off volunteering opportunities and are all full up for Christmas 2023.

If you’re interested in volunteering regularly with us in 2024, we often have vacancies in our centre kitchen or Petrock’s Place Charity Shop – please see here for details.