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Homeless Action Launches Christmas Shelter Appeal

Author: 
Chris Satori

Next weekend the clocks will go back and the cold winter nights will draw in. And those of us with cosy homes for ourselves and our families are very glad of them. But homelessness is on the rise with the North West experiencing a 48% increase in rough sleepers over the last year. 

Lancaster Homeless Action Service (LDHAS) needs your help more than ever, and once again they are planning their Christmas Shelter at St Thomas’s Church for 2017. So they're  launching an Appeal for funds to enable them to carry on providing provide their services to the people in the Lancaster area who don't have any place they can call their home.

Lancaster's Annual Shelter has always been a real success. It's enjoyed by all of LDHAS' clients and by the wonderful group of volunteers too, volunteers who give their time freely to make the Shelter a good, safe and hospitable place to be. 

If you have some spare time and would like to help out at the Christmas Shelter, please contact Peter Williams on volunteering@ldhas.org.uk.

The Shelter will provide breakfast, lunch, tea and snacks, warmth, security and an overnight stay for people living homeless on the street for 5 days and nights. Its doors will also be open during the daytime to anyone living in supported accommodation, those living alone and those living in housing poverty. For those who choose to join LDHAS there, there is the opportunity to chat, relax, and enjoy the company of others over the holiday period.

LDHAS isn't just for Christmas

But LDHAS' work at the centre in Edward Street isn't just for Christmas. 5 nights and days of shelter doesn't change the reality that for the other 360 days of the year homelessness is a very real problem.  LDHAS have a dedicated team of caseworkers (helped by equally dedicated volunteers) who have passion and commitment throughout the year to offer support to their clients.

Between October 2016 and September 2017 approximately 215 clients have accessed LDHAS for help, not only with homelessness, but with housing, welfare benefits, addiction and mental health issues. During this period 128 of those presented with mental health issues, 56 with alcohol misuse, and 104 with drug misuse. LDHAS successfully housed 76 clients, 9 embarked on a detox programme, and 11 found paid work. Given the limited resources at Edward Street, along with the ancient and dilapidated building unit where their work takes place, this is an achievement that merits respect and support. 

Unfortunately, the need for support and help is increasing year on year, and LDHAS' work is more important than ever. In order to highlight homelessness and to raise funds they've planned some events: 

  • Saturday 18th November: Annual Sleep Out. Town Hall Steps 9pm – 7am
  • Friday 8th December: Sainsbury’s Foyer Collection 10am- 4pm
  • Saturday 9th December: Lancaster Street Collection. 10am – 4pm

Ways to donate

To help LDHAS continue its work, your donations and support are crucial. 

You can send a cheque payable to LDHAS and drop it into the centre, or via post to:
LDHAS. Edward Street. Lancaster. LA1 1QH
marked 'for the attention of Sandra O’Neill / Finance'.

If you prefer to pay a donation via online banking:
Account Name: LDHAS
Sort Code: 40-27-02
Account Number: 41393553
Please use reference: “Shelter2017”

If you are making a monetary donation, and are a UK tax payer, by signing the Gift Aid declaration and returning to us we can claim back 25p from the Inland Revenue for every £1 you donate.

Please complete the details below, sign and return to us if you would like us to reclaim tax on your donation

Donor Details : First Name.............................................Surname................................
Address (House Number): ........... POST CODE...................................
I wish this declaration to cover the enclosed donation of £.....................
And any future donations I may make to LDHAS
Signed........................................................................Date..............................................

The folk at Edward St thank you for your continuing support and offer you their best wishes for a happy and peaceful festive season.

 

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