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Four local charities helping rough sleepers over winter receive £15,000 in grants

Four local charities who are helping rough sleepers over winter have been given £15,000 in grant aid.

The money has come from the winter wellbeing community fund set up by Hammersmith & Fulham Council, and administered by UNITED in H&F.

The quartet of charities are:

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Image caption: Image 2: St Andrew’s Church in Fulham Fields
  • Glass Door, London’s largest open-access network of emergency winter shelters and support services for all affected by homelessness. Its vision is of a world where no one has to sleep on the streets of London, and it partners with churches to provide shelter and support.
  • Barons Court Project, the day centre serving those who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or living with mental health issues in H&F. The current ratio of guests is 67 per cent street homeless and 33 per cent living with mental health issues, some of whom are also street homeless.
  • St Andrew’s Church, which is not only a haven of peace and hospitality in Fulham, but is also a place where guests can stretch out and sleep in safety, and are treated with dignity and respect. The weekly homeless project runs on Saturdays through the year, providing breakfast, a home-cooked meal, walk-in wet room showers, clothing and medical checks.
  • The Upper Room works to support and improve the lives of vulnerable people in the community, making to make them more resilient and to help them make positive life choices. It provides a number of inter-linked services that focus on giving the socially disadvantaged the tools and skills they need to restore their dignity, reduce their risk of homelessness and help them to become economically independent.

Between them, the local charities offer safe space and wraparound services including food, essentials, legal advice, and an antidote to the effects of loneliness and isolation.

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Image caption: Image 3: Michael Angus, director of the Barons Court Project

Wonderful news

“This grant is wonderful news, said Alicia Feetham, fundraising manager of Glass Door. “We will direct it to support our community dinner service which we are running in Hammersmith & Fulham this winter.”

During the pandemic, H&F Council joined forces with other local authorities across England to provide emergency accommodation to nearly 15,000 people who were rough sleeping or otherwise unable to comply with self-isolation requirements.

“All four organisations have served those who do not have the comfort of somewhere to safely ‘stay home’ in and are under growing pressure to meet increased demand,” said Savraj Kaur, executive director of the UNITED in Hammersmith & Fulham charity.

“We are pleased to be able to speedily administer this funding through Small Tap Big Change.”

The Small Tap, Big Change scheme, launched by the Hammersmith BID, focuses on providing outreach services, life skills coaching, washing facilities, hot meals and beds to homeless people in the community.

Success with BEAM

H&F Council has also joined forces with another London charity to give homeless people a fresh start in life by paying for employment training.

Charity Beam sets up crowdfunding websites so anyone can assist homeless people – and those at risk of homelessness – to gain jobs and stand tall once again.

The charity’s work is more urgent during winter, with more needing assistance as the pandemic continues to affect those on the margins.

Cllr Sue Fennimore, Deputy Leader of H&F Council, said she was ‘extremely encouraged’ by the way the local authority and charity were working together to tackle an issue that always comes into sharper focus in winter.

“Beam helps people help themselves by giving them crucial support at the time they most need it. This enables them to do the training courses necessary to find work and help them overcome all the barriers that exist in London to finding somewhere to live,” she added.

Read more about our work with Beam and how we’ve helped with Cherri, George and Bibi.

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