Mayor Backs SMART fundraising for Prebend Centre

December 19, 2021 8:00 AM
Originally published by Dave Hodgson - Mayor of Bedford Borough

Mayor Dave Hodgson with SMART CJS CEO Anita McCallumSMART CJS launched the annual Cold Relief In Bedford (CRIB) appeal last month and, after a great start, hope to raise £50K to put towards reopening the Prebend Centre.

The Mayor of Bedford, Dave Hodgson, met with SMART CJS's Chief Executive Officer to lend his support to the campaign and learn about its progress.

SMART CJS Chief Executive Officer Anita McCallum commented "Our target is to raise £50,000 to re-open the Prebend Centre in 2022. We will serve warm meals again and provide a welcoming space for those who are often isolated and give them the opportunity to come in from the cold and find some friendly faces. As of this moment - we have achieved 10% of our target, so we have a way to go yet - but we know with the kindness and generosity of supporters and donors - that we will reach it. Thank you to the Mayor and everyone who is supporting us with donations of toiletries, winter clothing and money - you are all superstars!"

Mayor of Bedford, Dave Hodgson responded "We need facilities like the Prebend Centre open again to provide shelter and food to those in need. I am backing the CRIB appeal and hope many others in Bedford will as well. Donating £10 will provide a hot lunch for 3 people, for example."

Readers will remember that the Prebend Centre temporarily closed in March 2020 due to COVID-19 regulations as it was not possible to create a compliant space with social distancing and one-way traffic in and out. With restrictions lifted and refurbishment carried out, SMART's aim is to start to safely use the building again.

A feedback survey revealed that receiving hot meals and having a safe place to rest and connect with others came top of the list for Prebend when it reopens. SMART CJS is delighted that they plan to re-open the facility early in 2022 to provide warmth, support and much-needed nutrition. It will be a phased programme of reopening, starting with providing a hot meal during the lunchtime period.

Please make a donation so that we can re- open the Prebend Centre and continue to provide support, compassion and hope to Bedford's homeless this winter

To find out about The SMART Prebend Centre please visit