Real Change project launched to boost support for homeless

Real Change fundraising appeal for Basingstoke’s homeless

Homeless and vulnerable people in the borough are set to get better access to support services with the launch of a new Real Change project.

Basingstoke Voluntary Action aims to raise £11,000 over the next four months to help the Camrose Centre and the Basingstoke TimeBank Project continue their vital work with rough sleepers and those who are socially isolated.

Supported by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and other partners in the Social Inclusion Partnership, which launched the Real Change campaign, the latest initiative is set to provide a wider range of services to tackle homelessness in the borough. 

Donate via the Good Exchange website: https://app.thegoodexchange.com/project/14880/basingstoke-voluntary-action/real-change-for-basingstoke-2019—camrose-centre-timebank-development

Organisations Supported by Real Change

The Camrose Centre in Basingstoke town centre provides a welcoming place where homeless and vulnerably housed people can find a meal, have a shave and a shower and access support services – including advice on housing, legal matters, mental health, primary healthcare, substance abuse, relationships, sexual health, children, benefits, domestic violence, education, emotional struggles, employment and financial issues.

Its team of committed staff and volunteers help men and women to avoid, survive and recover from homelessness; encourage them to make life-changing choices and to maintain better relationships with those around them. Funds raised will be used to support the future expansion of the project.

The Basingstoke TimeBank works with a variety of people, including those experiencing mental health challenges and homelessness, to improve their health and wellbeing and reduce social isolation. Its staff help them feel connected to their local communities and encourage them to participate in activities that boost their self-esteem as well as the opportunity to give something back.

The Timebank works on the principle that everyone has skills that they can share to build a stronger community. By giving their time in exchange for credits, they can then get help for themselves, for example to get a lift or help in the garden.

What Your Donation Can Do

Camrose Centre trustee Mike Browning said: “We are hoping that the community will support us in this joint fundraising project. Not only will the money we receive allow us to give immediate help to street homeless people and those recovering from or at risk of losing their homes, it will give us the financial security to expand our service in the future.

“We are in urgent need of cash and goods to fulfil our role. As well as helping clients to make positive changes, we provide a place for socializing in safety and warmth, enjoying a well-prepared hot meal and for finding a listening ear and companionship.”

Janet Cran, manager of The YOU Trust at First Point Basingstoke, added: “Please support our fundraising appeal on The Good Exchange website – every pound we raise will help vulnerable people in the borough to get the support they deserve and give them hope for the future.”

Last December, Real Change opened the Winter Night Shelter again for 12 weeks, providing overnight accommodation and meals to 315 people. Local people generously supported this popular project by donating a total of £15,196.

For information on how you can help to tackle homelessness in the borough visit www.realchangebasingstoke.org.uk

Homelessness Sunday

Supported by all churches, Homeless Sunday is a day of raising awareness and challenging the causes of homelessness in the United Kingdom. Homeless Sunday has been marked since the mid-1990s and it’s a way for the churches and congregations alike to demonstrate solidarity.

On Monday 25th January, the YOU Trust attended Festival Place in Basingstoke, armed with a stand, leaflets, balloons and cupcakes. The stand was occupied by Nicol Chidwick, the Deputy Manager of May Place House, a direct access homeless hostel managed by The YOU Trust. Joining Nicol for the day were May Place House staff Fay Aubrey, an Outreach Worker, and Steve Gartland, a Support Worker.

The team engaged with many members of the public, some of who had themselves experiences of homelessness. Some of the people who stopped by had little understanding of rough sleeping and were keen to discuss the issues as a whole with YOU’s team of experts. It also became a hub for advice; the team were ready with information to signpost individuals towards avenues of support.

Those who met the team were very positive in their feedback. Comments were received saying that it was great that YOU were raising awareness about the situation, and that is was very useful to know who to approach if you are worried about someone or in that situation yourself.

Even retailers were interested, and were receptive to the issues being raised. Staff from Boots kindly handed out free toothpaste from the stand.

This event was indeed a success. Not only was awareness raised, it brought together the community to reflect on how people marginalised through homelessness should be helped.