'Help us' plea from Harrogate homeless charity over funding concern
Harrogate may be in lockdown but rough sleeping is not an issue that the door can be closed on during the Covid-19 crisis.
One local charity on the frontline in Harrogate is determined to ensure all rough sleepers in our town not only have somewhere to stay but somewhere to stay where they can be safe - a tricky task at the best of times made even more difficult at a time of social distancing and self isolating.
But, as Liz Hancock, chief executive of Harrogate Homeless Project Ltd, told the Harrogate Advertise, this dedicated charity is not immune from its own challenges with some of its own staff self isolating at home.
Without public donations of cash, rather than just food, the job of the brave volunteers of this hard-working charity will be even harder.
Here Liz Hancock explains how the impact of the coronavirus crisis is already starting to be on the charity and its daily battle to help others less fortunate than us.
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Help us help others
by Liz Hancock, chief executive of Harrogate Homeless Project Ltd
“Harrogate Homeless Project’s day centre, Springboard, is operating a very reduced service for rough sleepers only at present which we aim to continue as long and safely as possible.
“This vital service is one of the few support agencies continuing to support clients on a face-to-face basis and we are liaising closely with Harrogate Borough Council to support all rough sleepers into accommodation.
“Mobile phones are being distributed to those with no other means of contact, which is essential at a time when support agencies are offering predominately telephone based appointments only.
“Our hostel on Bower Street is also still operational, in accordance with current government guidance, and our dedicated staff team are committed to working hard to ensure a safe provision remains in place.
“They obviously face considerable challenges and additional measures to ensure their own and also their clients’ well being.
“We are operating on a reduced staffing level due to some people having to self-isolate due to their own health risks or health vulnerabilities within their household.
"Due to many local businesses being forced to close we have also seen a reduction in the amount of food donations of surplus goods and produce, so we are incurring additional costs in order to keep our supplies topped up.
“We are now are asking the community to consider supporting us financially, not only to help with additional outgoings to keep services going - especially additional staff costs - but also because we have had to cancel several key fundraising events this year and are expecting a continued impact on fundraising.
“There are various ways of supporting the work of Harrogate Homeless Project.
"If you are interested in donating goods, please contact HHP using the contact form on our website, for an update on our needs.
“HHP is also looking to the future. We are still progressing with a funding application to the National Lottery Community Fund to secure substantial grant funding which will allow the expansion of the Springboard premises after the crisis is over.
"Based in the Wesley Chapel grounds, Springboard has for the last 10 years operated from the former caretakers house, and is now much in need of modernisation and extending to provide a fit-for-purpose facility for our Springboard development plans.
"Subject to the necessary permissions, we hope that a successful application for funding will allow an extension of the building, helping us to expand our timetable of services."
How you can help Harrogate Homeless Project
If you would like to donate money, there are three key ways that you can do this:
Via JustGiving or a standing order online at www.http://www.harrogate-homeless-project.org.uk/donate/
By cheque (made payable to ‘Harrogate Homeless Project, and sent to 7 Bower Street, Harrogate, HG1 5BQ)
By standing order (call 01423 566900 so that HHP can send a form)
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