Children, young parents and homeless people are just some of those in Fenland and East Cambridgeshire who may be in need of a gift this Christmas.

And because of this, CHS Group, a charitable housing association and social enterprise, has launched its annual shoebox appeal.

Residents, businesses and community groups in the likes of Ely, Wisbech and surrounding areas have been invited to help by putting together shoe boxes filled with a range of Christmas gifts.

Nigel Howlett, chief executive of CHS Group, said: “Each year, our shoebox appeal provides great joy and happiness to our residents.

“This makes them feel like the valued members of the greater Cambridgeshire community that they are.”

CHS Group is encouraging donations for different individuals, including of gender-neutral parents, to ensure gifts can be provided to as many people as possible.

Recommended items for the shoeboxes include toiletries, clothing, food items and gift cards for supermarkets or coffee shops, but cash, alcohol and tobacco are not allowed.

Residents can also help out by donating funds through an online fundraising page.

“We were very grateful for the hundreds of donations we received in 2020; the generosity of the public provided some residents with their only present last Christmas,” Mr Howlett said.

“For those for are unable to put together a shoebox, donations to the JustGiving page are equally as valuable as physical donations and no contribution is too small.”

Donations can be dropped at the following locations and times:


  • Wheatsheaf Close – 1 Wheatsheaf Close, Ely, CB6 3YJ, Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm


  • Norwich Road – 204 Norwich Road, Wisbech, PE13 3TD, Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm
  • Fenland Young People’s Service – The Staithe, Holmes Drive, Wisbech, PE13 3TJ, Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm


  • Head Office – Endurance House, Chivers Way, Histon, CB24 9ZR, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday (not Thursday) 9am-12pm and 2pm – 5pm (please avoid 12pm-2pm)
  • Railway House – 128 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 2BQ, Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm
  • Russell Street – 82 Russell Street, Cambridge, CB2 1HU, Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm

Donations are being accepted until Friday, December 10.

For more information on the shoebox appeal, visit: and to donate, go to:

CHS Group provides accommodation and support services in Ely, Wisbech and Cambridge, supporting people who would otherwise be homeless, young parents and their children.

It also supports people with autism, learning difficulties and those experiencing mental health issues.