Generous donation makes Harrogate homeless hostel more 'homely'

Julie Everill (service manager) and Liz Hancock (chief executive) with YBS staff Carole Bartle, Leanne Jones and Lizzie Jones
Julie Everill (service manager) and Liz Hancock (chief executive) with YBS staff Carole Bartle, Leanne Jones and Lizzie Jones
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Homeless people in Harrogate will be made to feel even more at home by a charity-run hostel after it received a generous donation.

The Harrogate Homeless Project is a charity which offers emergency accommodation to homeless people in the town, as well as support and advice.

But now residents of the project's 16-room hostel will be able to enjoy a more homely atmosphere, thanks to a £2,000 donation from the Yorkshire Building Society Charitable Foundation.

The donation has been used to help fund new televisions for the hostel on Bower Street.

Liz Hancock, chief executive of Harrogate Homeless Project, said: “Providing televisions in our rooms is not something we have done before but it’s been an ambition of ours for a while.

"It can be hard for our clients to settle when they come to stay at the hostel, especially if they have problems sleeping. By providing a television in their rooms we hope they will feel more relaxed."

The Yorkshire Building Society Charitable Foundation is funded through the Small Change Big Difference® scheme where members donate pennies from the interest on their accounts to help charities and good causes around the UK.

Harrogate Homeless Project was nominated for the donation by colleagues at the Yorkshire Building Society on Oxford Street.

Leanne Jones, manager of the Yorkshire’s Harrogate branch, said: “There are so many reasons why people can end up homeless – redundancy, bereavement, illnesses for example. Harrogate Homeless Project provides support for people day in, day out all year round and we feel strongly about supporting their mission to help people off the streets.”

The charity, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, relies on volunteers to help run its hostel and day centre services as well as donations of money, clothing, non-perishable food and sleeping bags.

Liz Hancock said: “Unfortunately homelessness is still a problem in Harrogate and there is some element of rough sleeping. This can be made worse by the lack of affordable housing available in areas such as this.”

For more information about the Small Change Big Difference® scheme and the Charitable Foundation visit www.ybs.co.uk/charitablefoundation