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King's Lynn homeless trust could close in weeks without £50,000 to help it stay afloat through winter

PUBLISHED: 16:47 20 October 2015 | UPDATED: 12:35 21 October 2015

The Purfleet Trust in King's Lynn needs to raise £50,000. Picture: Ian Burt

The Purfleet Trust in King's Lynn needs to raise £50,000. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant

A struggling charity which provides a lifeline to homeless people in west Norfolk could close in weeks if it cannot come up with £50,000 funding for the winter months.

The Purfleet Trust, based in King’s Lynn, provides those in need with food, showers and laundry services and helps people live independently.

The organisation increasingly relies on donations to keep going as a result of government cuts and changes to charity funding, according to the chief executive Paula Hall.

She said the team were calling for help to bridge a £50,000 funding gap through winter or they will have to close in November.

Mrs Hall said: “My team are so committed and we are all aware of the situation. Our main concern is this winter people could die if we are not there.”

The trust offers support at their day centre where homeless people can have access to affordable accommodation and receive training on how to manage money.

Mrs Hall said staff have seen more and more people, especially women, come through their doors for reasons including job losses, changes to welfare reform and after falling victim to domestic abuse.

She added on an average day around 80 people use their services.

The trust has secured funding from early next year but would have to close next month if it cannot get the money it needs to stay afloat until then.

“The impact on our local community would be felt if we closed. We help to reduce the impact of criminal activity and we help to give people a place to come to so they are not out on the streets and at risk of getting into trouble,” said Mrs Hall who added the police and local authorities valued their work.

“We are working with the council to address the issue but there is only so much we can do.”

Insp Paul Garrard, of King’s Lynn police, said: “We have a very good local relationship with, and are very supportive of, The Purfleet Trust, who work tirelessly to support homeless people and to assist others in maintaining their tenancies.

“This past year has seen them assist 32 people in finding accommodation, with a further 191 people attending their housing advice sessions. In addition to this, their drop-in centre sees up to 80 people attend per day looking for support, guidance and friendship, all of which is provided by a very dedicated and highly motivated team.

“Such is the benefit of the service provided by The Purfleet Trust, that all new police recruits posted to this area spend some time at the drop-in centre in order to raise their awareness of homelessness and of the needs of those finding themselves in such desperate situations. This process helps to break down barriers and aid in communication and understanding.”

To make a donation send a cheque made payable to The Purfleet Trust or make a direct payment into their Virgin Giving Account via their website www.purfleettrust.org.uk.

Are you raising money to help a charity stay afloat? Email sophie.biddle@archant.co.uk

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