Harlow Chocolate Run

Helping The Homeless in Harlow

Charity no: 1026452 Chair: Jo Busson

The Christmas Haven

For around 20 years we have provided a shelter for the homeless at Christmas, for 10 days from 23rd December to 1st January.  This year we are staying open an extra couple of days, until 3 January, to cover the weekend.

We provide simple accommodation, food, clothing and toiletries.  We also aim to provide a warm and friendly welcome.  The number of guests varies, but we will probably have 20 to 25 people staying overnight. If you are interested in helping please have a chat with our chair, Jo Busson, on jobusson@yahoo.co.uk or 07951 612803.

Our volunteers do as many, or as few, shifts as they want.  We need volunteers to cover 24/7.  We will run 5 shifts a day, an 8 hour night shift from midnight to 8am, then 4 hour shifts for the rest of the day.  The volunteers handbook is here.

The building we use is the Playbarn at the Great Parndon Community Association : to find us visit this page.

Sunday Haven

We  run a weekly drop-in for the homeless in Harlow, which  provides hot drinks and snacks, and also a warm welcome and friendliness.  We have up to 30 guests  at a session.

The haven uses the Playbarn at the Great Parndon Community Association, where the Christmas haven is held.  It is  open every Sunday, from 6pm to 8pm.

We  have 11  teams, each with a team leader and around 4 volunteers,  who work together regularly.  This means each team does a shift every 11 weeks.  We also welcome volunteers who can help out occasionally, perhaps at short notice.

If you are interested please give us your details via the Contact Form, and we will keep you in touch with what’s happening.

Our volunteer’s handbook is here and the rota is here.


We are lucky to have a number of sponsors who help us with food.  None of our volunteers or trustees are paid, and we do not get any government or lottery funding.  We need donations for  :

  • Food and drink
  • Household expenses like laundry and toilet rolls
  • Sleeping bags, air beds and camp beds at Christmas
  • Insurance

Givenet If you’d like to help please click here to give online.  It’s quick and secure.  It offers Gift Aid, which means that if you are an eligible UK tax payer we can claim 25p for every £1.00 you give us.


If you prefer Paypal, just click the “donate” button below, and you can give via PayPal.  You do not need to have a PayPal account.