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Winter appeal which has helped homeless off the streets reaches highest ever fundraising target

PUBLISHED: 14:31 20 February 2019

The Surviving Winter appeal has helped the homeless in Norwich.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Surviving Winter appeal has helped the homeless in Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

A number of homeless people have been helped off the streets and into accommodation thanks to the kind donations from the public.

The Surviving Winter campaign is run by the Norfolk Community Foundation and backed by the EDP and Norwich Evening NewsThe Surviving Winter campaign is run by the Norfolk Community Foundation and backed by the EDP and Norwich Evening News

Money raised through the Surviving Winter appeal, run by the Norfolk Community Foundation and backed by the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News, has helped rough sleepers in Norwich find temporary accommodation through homeless charity St Martins.

So far, the appeal has raised more than £123,500 - the highest figure ever reached in the campaign’s history by a huge margin, compared to the most ever raised previously in 2015/16 of £55,000.

But, despite the milder weather, there is still a need to raise more funds to help those struggling through the cold nights.

Claire Cullens, chief executive of Norfolk Community Foundation, said: “The more money the appeal continues to raise, the more we can ensure that some of the most vulnerable in Norfolk are able to access vital, life-changing help, impacting on their long term futures.”

Claire Cullens, left, chief executive, and Jenny Bevan, head of programmes Norfolk Community Foundation, who run the Surviving Winter campaign. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYClaire Cullens, left, chief executive, and Jenny Bevan, head of programmes Norfolk Community Foundation, who run the Surviving Winter campaign. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Funds raised from the Surviving Winter appeal have enabled St Martins to provide emergency respite accommodation in local hotels and bed and breakfasts, providing a street break for rough sleepers to get some essential respite from the harsh reality of their daily lives on the streets.

The charity has helped Geoff, a rough sleeper in his 60s, who has moved from the streets to hostels to prison and then back to the streets again, in a vicious cycle which has lasted at least 20 years.

A charity spokesman said: “It seemed that Geoff had exhausted all of his options and he was declining both physically and mentally from years of alcohol abuse and rough sleeping.”

But the money from Surviving Winter has helped to pay for a bed and breakfast accommodation and with the help of St Martins’ services he has successfully detoxed from alcohol. He is now awaiting accommodation at St Martins’ dry house.

Surviving Winter 2018

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The same success story can be found in John, who has slept in shop doorways in Norwich but was offered hotel accommodation withing Surviving Winter funding.

This allowed the opportunity for him to engage with social services and he has since moved into long-term care placement.

Surviving Winter

Help elderly and vulnerable people stay warm, fed and sheltered this winter by donating to the Surviving Winter campaign.

Run by the Norfolk Community Foundation and backed by the EDP and Norwich Evening News, the campaign is aiming to raise £150,000 to tackle fuel poverty and isolation for those who struggle the most between now and the spring.

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 www.norfolkfoundation.com/news-events/launch-of-the-surviving-winter-appeal 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.

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