An annual event to support the homeless and those facing hardship returns to Middlesbrough this week.
In Out of the Cold takes place on Wednesday, December 12 in The Crypt at Middlesbrough Town Hall from 1pm to 3pm.
The event - now in its ninth year - is co-ordinated by Middlesbrough Council with support from a range of statutory, private and voluntary sector organisations and members of the public.
Advice and support are on hand for those experiencing difficulties, in a safe, relaxed and friendly environment.
Made possible through kind donations and volunteering from a range of statutory, private and voluntary sector organisations and members of the public, the event raises awareness of homelessness and hardship issues in the town.
Hot food is provided, as well as live music from local singers and a carol service.
Attendees are also given a Christmas gift box, which is made up from donations and includes items such as hats, scarves, gloves and toiletries.
While Middlesbrough does not have many rough sleepers, there are a lot of people with housing needs and experiencing insecure housing situations, such as temporary accommodation, refuge and ‘sofa surfing’.
The Council and its partners offer outreach, accommodation and support to all those affected with housing need issues, as well as those experiencing other forms of hardship.
Councillor Mick Thompson, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive member for Culture and Communities said: “In Out of the Cold is an opportunity for those individuals who might be isolated or disadvantaged due to homelessness to engage with providers and seek solace in a safe warm environment.
“The event has become a regular fixture that captures the magic of Christmas while also helping to raise awareness of some of the issues around homelessness, poverty and social exclusion.
“It is an ideal way to offer support and let people know of the many organisations in Middlesbrough who are able to help those in need.
“I am always impressed with the organisations and members of the public, who offer their time and commitment throughout the year to make this event possible.”