There has been a sharp rise in the number of desperate people calling a homelessness charity for help.
Housing and homelessness charity Shelter has seen a 13 per cent increase in the number of calls from the East Midlands to its helpline in the last year alone, with nearly 25,000 calls received - meaning the charity gets a call for help every ten minutes.
Shelter is now appealing for support to keep its helpline, which is part-funded by M&S, going
Nearly one in five cases in the East Midlands dealt with by the Shelter helpline in the past year were people who were homeless or within 28 days of losing their home.
Recent analysis by the charity revealed more than 1,200 children in the East Midlands will wake up homeless on Christmas morning - the highest level recorded since 2009.
Five per cent of every sale from M&S’s ‘Food On The Move’ festive range goes directly towards the helpline and funds one in five of the calls it answers.
The charity says that buying a festive lunch from M&S is an easy way to support homeless people this Christmas and will make a real difference to struggling families across the country.
Nadeem Khan, a helpline adviser for Shelter, said: “Every day at Shelter we speak to people faced with losing their home but when a parent calls us, desperate to keep a roof over their child’s head, nothing is more heart-breaking.
“If it wasn’t for the money raised by M&S customers, thousands of calls for help from people in the East Midlands would go unanswered.”