As the nights grow darker, our grants help charities provide comfort for the homeless

Seventy five churches and charities across the UK and Ireland received grant funding of £189,875 from Allchurches Trust in September, with a number of grants going to projects focused on helping the most vulnerable over the winter months.

Warmth and kindness as the foundation for hope

FirmFoundation in South Harrow provides an emergency night shelter for 15 men and five women from January to March each year in safe, dormitory accommodation. Evening meals are shared between guests and others who cannot be accommodated. Additional support is offered to guests to access government services, legal and medical help, and find long term accommodation.

The charity operates throughout the year, managing supported accommodation and day services for the most vulnerable people in South Harrow and continuing to support its night shelter guests after the physical shelter closes each spring. Allchurches has provided a grant to FirmFoundation to purchase new camp beds, sleeping bags and linen for this coming winter.

Support and connection help thousands make a fresh start

Our recent grant to Fresh Start in Edinburgh will help bring the charity’s many services into a central community hub. Fresh Start helps people who have been homeless establish a new life in their new home and resettle successfully.

The charity works in partnership with volunteers and organisations from a broad section of the community, including a network of more than 100 churches. Each year, it delivers a range of services to provide practical and social support to thousands of people who have been homeless.

Fresh Start provides people who have nothing with the essentials needed to set up a new home in a new community. With the help of volunteers and partner organisations, they supply starter packs of stoves, kettles, pots, pans, linen, beds, crockery and electrical items; a volunteer decorating service; training for work; and cooking and gardening classes for friendship, wellbeing and health.

The charity’s new hub will comprise a community kitchen, thrift shop with a community fridge, meeting spaces and a garden space. It will enable Fresh Start to expand its services and the number of people it helps, and will provide space for partner charities to deliver specialist support aimed at tackling the impact of poverty in the area and implementing preventative activities.

Allchurches’ Grants Officer, Peter Mojsa said: ‘While more always needs to be done to reduce homelessness itself, we sometimes forget the enormous emotional, mental and social trauma that homelessness brings. For those who are moving into a new home and a new life, there are many challenges still to come; the greatest gift of Fresh Start is the promise that people facing those challenges are not alone.’

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The volunteers of Fresh Start’s “Hit Squad”; getting ready to decorate two rooms for somebody who has been homeless, but is now moving into their new home. The charity’s mission is to ‘help people make a home for themselves’


16290_Volunteers-Preparing-Starter-Packs.jpg#asset:1243Volunteers preparing Starter Packs of groceries to be delivered to a new home. Starter Pack services also include essential items needed by somebody who has had none, such as a radio, mirror, lamps, bedding, crockery, pots, etc.

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Fresh Start’s cookery classes are part of ensuring that previously homeless people are able to develop new friendships, learn or rebuild skills, feel accomplished and creative, and included in their community, through shared company, cooking and meals.