Spare change or real change?

Homelessness, rough sleeping and begging are growing problems both locally and nationally.

In recent weeks, many of you have commented here or tweeted @ChelmsCouncil to express your concerns about rising numbers of people begging on the streets in Chelmsford.
We’re working with CHESS Homeless, Essex Police, Open Road and other local and national agencies to deal with the problem. In an area the size of Chelmsford city centre, it would be very unusual for someone to be begging or sleeping in Chelmsford city centre without being known to and in contact with us.

Shelter, food, clothing, hygiene facilities and counselling are all available. CHESS’ change programme helps people into long-term accommodation, treatment and employment. Outreach workers are in the city centre and at CHESS’ shelter every night, offering assistance.

CHESS Homeless

Sadly, getting someone off the streets can be a very complex process - if it was simply a matter of providing accommodation, nobody would be living on the street. Many people who beg are affected by complex issues, which can include addiction, and these can keep them on the streets despite outreach workers and staff trying to engage with them on a regular basis.

This doesn’t mean that public services stop trying to help. Today CHESS Homeless, Chelmsford’s local homelessness charity and one of our main partners in working with rough sleepers, launches its Spare Change or Real Change campaign with the support of Chelmsford City Council.

To find out how you can help, please visit You can also pick up a leaflet in your local library or at the Civic Centre, or download it through the link above.

CHESS Homeless

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This Christmas Bond Street Chelmsford is hosting an array of events and activities to appeal to families.

The FROST Christmas Grotto will be popping up in an empty unit next door to John Lewis on selected dates and times between the 1st December and Christmas Eve.
The marine lake was originally opened in 1905 after being given to the Maldon people. Following a tragic accident it was shut and reopened in 2006 as a Wildlife and fountain pond.
More than 200 students at The Boswells Schools were involved with this year's whole school production, a modern twist on the traditional pantomime ‘Cinderella’.
On Saturday 16th December a group of young singers, aged 16 – 27, will be performing their own Christmas Concert for the Friends of St James Church. The singers comprise Chorus Sirenum, and the Southend Young Men’s Chorus.
Helen Rollason Cancer Charity’s Christmas Gift and Food Fair is back on Saturday 25 – Sunday 26 November, and it’s bigger and better than before.
The creative and imaginative team at Elite known for staging a spellbinding series of Chelsea shows including the magnificently popular Enchanting Wedding Fair and the exclusive and clandestine Secret Wedding Show will be bringing our magical fairy dust to the brides of Essex.
A city play area has been awarded special status as it has been adapted for disabled children and wheelchair users.
The Adventure Castle play area in Hylands Park is now officially accredited by PiPA, also known as Planning Inclusive Play Areas.
Work is now officially underway on the county’s first ever all-through school at Beaulieu in Chelmsford.

Construction on the new £34million school started following a ground-breaking ceremony at the site yesterday.