The Big Help Project joins Homeless Link and secures funding from the Duchy of Lancaster Fund

Double Delight at The Big Help Project this month as the team takes its homeless support services to a national level and the team secure funding from the Duchy of Lancaster Fund…

The Big Help Project has taken its homeless support services to a national level this week through membership of UK charity Homeless Link.

This new partnership will give the Big Help Project the opportunity to share its ground-breaking Fresh Start and Safe Haven projects with organisations across the UK who are working together to tackle the issue of homelessness for good.

Since 2018, the Big Help Projects’ own homelessness programmes, Fresh Start and Safe Haven, have assisted ex-offenders and asylum seekers through an innovative ‘housing first’ approach that prioritises housing, and then delivers tailored support to those vulnerable tenants, to give them the best chance of maintaining their tenancy and using it as a foundation upon which to make a positive contribution to society. This can include helping them to access work, education or training, tackle addiction and receive support with mental health issues. Safe Haven, which is specifically for Asylum Seekers, provides safe and secure housing for those who are awaiting the results of an Asylum appeal. To date, the projects have worked with over 60 individuals and families across the Liverpool City Region.

Project Manager Joe Goulding said: “We are proud to announce our membership of Homeless Link and we are looking forward to contributing to national strategies around tackling homelessness in the UK once and for all. The Big Help Project believes that homelessness and insecure accommodation is a scourge upon society, and we believe that our ethical housing model creates a new and positive role for the Private Rental Sector that will transform lives for the some of the most marginalised in society, bringing us nearer to the day when safe, secure and suitable housing is within the reach of all and homelessness has been eradicated in the UK for good.”

Following hot on the heels of this news was the confirmation that the Knowsley Foodbank was to receive a generous donation of funding of £2,500 from the Duchy of Lancaster Fund for the Benevolence of Merseyside.

The fund, which is managed on behalf of the Monarch by the Duchy of Lancaster, award grants to charities that work for the benefit of communities in Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside.

The Big Help Project was recommended to apply to the fund by Lesley Martin-Wright, CEO of Knowsley Chamber, and a Deputy Lieutenant of Merseyside, and the team were informed of the Trustees decision this week.

Lesley said: “Knowsley Chamber has been supporting The Big Help Project for a number of years now and we are very proud of the amazing work they do for the people in Knowsley. During lockdown the level of public donations to the foodbank dropped but we knew that local businesses could, and would, support the project.  In partnership with Knowsley Council we rallied local businesses to help fill the gap, and they responded with van loads of support.  We also thought about other forms of help that we could offer and I was delighted to recommend the team for a Duchy of Lancaster fund contribution.”

The funds will be used to purchase food for the Foodbank, which is distributed through the Big Help Project (Knowsley Foodbank) centres across Knowsley.