How Surviving Winter appeal is helping rough sleepers off the streets
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A winter fundraising campaign geared at helping vulnerable people across the county has already placed roofs above the heads of a number of rough sleepers as winter hits its coldest.
The Surviving Winter appeal, which is run each year by the Norfolk Community Foundation, this year has placed additional focus on supporting people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
And as a result of funds raised so far, homeless charity St Martins has been able to provide extra 'street breaks' for a number of rough sleepers - who otherwise may have been left in the cold.
Street breaks are short stays in emergency accommodation that are often in local lodgings or bed and breakfasts, which provide essential respite from the harsh reality of life on the streets while further support is being co-ordinated.
The Survivng Winter appeal has already made a difference to the lives of two individuals, who we are calling Mr R and Mr C.
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Mr R is a man in his 50s, who had spent several months sleeping rough. However, after the appeal allowed St Martins to place him in a lodging in November, the period of stability has allowed him to turn his life around.
He now receives regular support and has been able to find casual work, while soon he is to move into a long term home.
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Meanwhile, Mr C's street break in a bed and breakfast for a week allowed him to find enough routine to fill out local authority paperwork to arrange temporary accommodation.
He is mentally unwell, has a health condition and was sleeping rough near Chapelfield in January when St Martins first encountered him. He is now preparing to move into his own council property.
Clare Cullens, chief executive of Norfolk Community Foundation, said: "It is inspiring to hear how small steps are making a big impact, helping rough sleepers get back on their feet long term through this break from the streets.
"To continue to help some of the most vulnerable people locally get through the cold winter months we urgently need more funds to support them.
"Donate to the Surviving Winter appeal today to make a real impact on their futures.
For further information on the appeal visit www.norfolkfoundation.com/giving-philanthropy/surviving-winter
How to donate
Help elderly and vulnerable people stay warm, fed and sheltered this winter by donating to the Surviving Winter campaign.
The campaign is urging older people who do not need their winter fuel allowance to donate it to those who desperately do, as many are faced with choosing between paying the bills and putting food on the table.
Funds raised in the appeal will be distributed to a range of good causes across Norfolk, including the foundation trust's key partners Age UK Norfolk, Norwich Foodbank and St Martins Housing Trust.
To donate, Visit the Surviving Winter appeal donation page at https://www.norfolkfoundation.com/giving-philanthropy/surviving-winter/ or call Norfolk Community Foundation on 01603 623 958.
You can donate by cheque made payable to Norfolk Community Foundation and send it to Norfolk Community Foundation, St James Mill, Whitefriars, Norwich, NR3 1TN