Our project has been running in Corby for four years and is currently staffed entirely by volunteers. During this time we've kept many people off the streets in the coldest months of the year. Our records show that through the past season (1 December-27 March) we had 32 people stay with us and provided 722 beds! We believe that the number of people we help will rise dramatically in the next few years due to the introduction of Universal Credit, and the discontinuation of new Housing Benefit claims for under 21s. Since we started in 2013 we have come under the umbrella of another local charity and our accommodation has been a shared church hall, which presented us with many difficulties. However, both of these arrangements have now ended as the church hall has been converted into a gym and the charity we were looked after by is being wound up as the founder is retiring so we have come to a real crossroads! A group of volunteers has got together and decided to begin a new chapter for the project so we are in the process of registering with the Charity Commission and, with limited finances, we have just secured our own rented building on a six year lease, which means we can look at opening the night shelter all year round and expanding our service to include a drop in centre with support service, healthcare services, counselling and mentoring. We want to do more than just provide a meal and a bed. We really want to help people deal with their issues, to feel that they are a valuable part of the community, and to believe in themselves again so they can secure stable accomodation and maybe return to work. We intend to apply for funding from many sources including the Big Lottery Fund, Corby Borough Council grants, Northamptonshire Community Foundation, the European Social Fund and Help the Homeless to secure the future of our project and to employ staff, which will also create jobs for local people. We are already incredibly well supported in Corby by other agencies, the borough council and the police but we would like to become so well known in Corby that no one comes across a homeless person without knowing that we are there to help them. We want our centre to change homelessness in Corby completely and are confident that the support work, mentoring, and volunteering opportunities that it will provide will help our guests to engage with us, and that this will result in a reduction in related crime such as antisocial behaviour, street drinking and shoplifting. We are delighted to get our own building but it needs redecorating, new flooring, and we would like to have a kitchen and showers fitted so this prize would give our new project the most incredible start! The showers are particularly important to us as we have previously not been able to offer more than a washing up bowl of hot water, and we believe that helping people to look and smell nice again is essential to them regaining their dignity. We'd love to make that happen.
Thank you for considering us!