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Lancaster & District Chamber of Commerce choose LDHAS for Charity Of The Year

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Lancaster & District Homeless Action Centre
Lancaster & District Homeless Action Centre
Author: 
Chris Satori

 

Each year Lancaster and District Chamber of Commerce chooses a charity to support as their Chamber Of The Year. This year the chosen charity is Lancaster and District Homeless Action Service Ltd. (LDHAS).

LDHAS is the leading homeless charity in the Lancaster region. Their team of 11 dedicated part-time staff plus volunteers work with people aged 16+ from many varied backgrounds where circumstance has led them to be sleeping rough or struggling to manage their own accommodation.  In a typical year they have over 1000 visits by people who require varying levels of help and guidance.   The service is committed to helping people find accommodation and learn the life skills essential for independent living and, working alongside other organisations, to provide help and support to engage with the job market. LDHAS offer advice on health, benefits, debt management and substance misuse.

The ultimate goal of this work is to find suitable long-term accommodation for homeless clients and to equip them with skills needed to sustain a tenancy. Alongside this work, LDHAS also provide for clients’ immediate needs i.e.  food, shower and laundry facilities. LDHAS operates a day centre based in Edward Street, Lancaster which also provides housing advice to the roofless and those in housing poverty. The food service relies upon one part-time staff member and many dedicated volunteers.

They run weekday classes at the the day centre, Skills4Life, where clients are encouraged to gain appropriate skills and knowledge to enter volunteering, training or employment opportunities. 

LDHAS also visit clients in their homes in order to enable them to maintain their accommodation. This work assists their clients by supporting them to learn to set up their own tenancies and to teach them to budget, deal with debts and liaise with various agencies so they are empowered to deal with any issues they may encounter in the future.

Gary Welsh, Centre Manager for LDHAS said: “Homelessness does not discriminate. The homeless population in England has more than doubled since 2010 and having the support of the local Chamber of Commerce to tackle this problem speaks volumes for their member's awareness and understanding  of this growing issue. Thank you so much for all your support”.

Alistair Eagles, President of the Lancaster and District Chamber of Commerce, added: “Homelessness is one of those societal problems that many people see but find very hard to acknowledge exists. It is our intention to bring the discussion out into the open by supporting LDHAS as our Charity Of The Year. Society must be judged by more than what it produces and how many holidays we have each year. We must reach out to those less fortunate and understand that homelessness could and does effect anyone, regardless of their status in life.”

LDHAS also has a project called Homeless to Home (H2H). This is a project funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund. The project focuses on street homeless services users, and the aim is to support them in finding appropriate accommodation and sustaining the tenancy. 

You can find out more about LDHAS on their website at www.ldhas.org.uk/ and on their facebook page. They have ongoing fundraising projects throughout the year. If you would like to help with fundraising or have any ideas, contact them on finance@ldhas.org.uk or call 01524 842008 and ask for Gary.  They also have a Just Giving page if you want to organise your own event to support LDHAS.

 

 

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