Local eye hospital supports SIFA Fireside

This Christmas, staff at Optegra Birmingham Eye Hospital dedicated the festive period to helping others, by donating to a local charity – both with products and their time.

Optegra Birmingham Eye Hospital supported SIFA Fireside, a charity which helps vulnerable people, by collecting food, clothes and toiletries.

The staff collection, with donations made by admin team, theatre staff, surgeons and management, will be used to help vulnerable people in the community throughout Birmingham.

 In addition, Dee Rana, Professional Partnership Manager  at Optegra Birmingham Eye Hospital, will be volunteering with the charity on a regular basis, helping to serve breakfasts.

SIFA Fireside is the combination of two charities, both set up around 30 years ago, SIFA (Supporting Independence From Alcohol) and The Fireside Charity. They work with those who are homeless, affected by alcohol, or otherwise socially disadvantaged.

The charity works to provide a hot, nutritious meal, clothing, boots/shoes and bedding to local homeless people both at Christmas and throughout the year.

Stacey Brough, Hospital Director at Optegra Birmingham Eye Hospital, says, “As we near the festive season, many of us may think about those less fortunate than ourselves – particularly those who won’t have a roof over their head or food to eat at Christmas time.  We thought it would be a worthwhile cause to support and are really delighted to be helping out.”

This Christmas SIFA Fireside hopes to cater for around 250 people, and all year round an average of 120 people visit the drop-in centre every day.

In addition, their visitors can access various services.  It is a safe environment to have breakfast and lunch, shower, use laundry equipment, socialise, receive advice on alcohol, health care, housing, and other issues and take part in activities designed to increase confidence & skills.

Isobel Knowles, Volunteer Organiser and Outreach Worker at SIFA Fireside, says: “We really appreciate the donations from Optegra Birmingham Eye Hospital,which will be used in food parcels to clients in need, while toiletries can be used in the drop in centre.   It is incredibly important to have the help of companies like Optegra – and not just for Christmas!

“We rely on corporate support and volunteers who give time, but also need donations in goods or money – so the drop-in centre can be so much more than just a ‘drop-in’ but can provide the extra care and services that we do.”

The money and other donations will be handed over to the charity in time for the busy Christmas and New Year period.

Further information about the charity can be found at: www.sifafireside.co.uk

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