tackling homelessness & poverty in the Humber region

Author: editor

Local charity to share the realities of homelessness for World Homeless Day 2019

World Homeless Day 2019

This World Homeless Day (10th October), Emmaus Hull & East Riding are hosting their third Learn & Share event to highlight the rapidly growing issue across the UK and locally around homelessness.

A wide range of agencies will be coming together and will be available for information and support from 10am at Vineyard Church with keynote speakers lined up from 1pm onwards. This World Homeless Day event is open to all and is scheduled to finish around 3pm. Opened by Lord Mayor Steve Wilson.

Guest speakers will include:

Diane Hilton (Renew Drug and Alcohol Service)

Jon Kuhrt (Ministry of Housing, Specialist rough sleeping advisor)

Keith Hunter (Police and Crime Commissioner) 

An Emmaus Companion

Director Kelly Finnis “Firstly we’d like to thank Hull Vineyard Church for hosting this important event, we really value the support received as we have simply outgrown Emmaus Lockwood Street! World Homeless Day is recognised globally by those working hard to reduce homelessness and social injustice. We have hosted this event for past the three years to draw attention to homeless people’s needs locally and provide the opportunity for the community to get involved.  Most importantly we create a space for people to come together to learn and share information about the organisations directly involved in tackling homelessness”.

Emmaus Hull & East Riding supports formerly homeless people (companions) by giving them a home, meaningful work in a social enterprise and an opportunity to regain lost self-esteem to help rebuild their lives. We also run the Rough Sleeper Service for Hull & East Riding and various charitable enterprises.

[Kelly Finnis – Emmaus Hull and East Riding]

Continue Reading

What kind of housing do you want to see in Hull?

Hull City Council is asking residents to share their views on the future of housing in Hull.

A survey has been launched which asks the public what type of housing development they would prefer the authority to build, based on the needs of the city’s most vulnerable people.

This could include bungalows or sheltered extra-care housing complexes such as Redwood Glades, or could see assistive technology fitted into existing homes.

Councillor Gwen Lunn, portfolio holder for adult services, said: “As we grow older, we tend to become vulnerable and often need a bit of extra care.

“We want our residents to live healthy and independent lives for as long as possible and choosing where and how we live can be a challenge for ourselves and our families.

“That is why the type of housing accommodation we plan to build should be shaped by the needs of Hull’s residents and that is why your views are so important to us.”

The team would like to hear from older residents with or without support needs, adults with a physical, sensory or learning disabilities, adults with mental health problems, dementia or autistic spectrum disorder.

The views will then be used to inform the city’s future housing strategy for older and vulnerable residents, as well as shaping the council’s long-term priorities.

Take part in the housing survey here. To take part in future focus groups, email housing.strategy@hullcc.gov.uk.

[Hull City Council]

Continue Reading

Conference to explore prevention of domestic abuse & early support for victims

People from a diverse range of professions are coming together to learn more about domestic abuse and how they can be instrumental in early support and prevention for the people they are working with.

The conference will involve over 250 people at Hull University on Tuesday 10th September, and will include Luke and Ryan Hart who set up Coco Awareness charity. The brothers are White Ribbon Ambassadors and Refuge Champions following their own family’s domestic homicide and are dedicated to raising awareness, and speaking out against male violence towards women and children.

Vicki Paddison, Strategic Domestic Abuse Services Manager for Hull said: “Domestic abuse is the most hidden of crimes, but through working with our partners we provide support as early as possible to help prevent domestic abuse, and provide appropriate services to families whose lives are affected.”

In 2018, 2334 victims of domestic abuse came forward to Hull City Council requesting support.

The themes of the day will capture the impact of coercive control, risk, the impact of domestic abuse of family and lessons learned from national and local domestic homicide reviews, including Luke and Ryan Hart’s own experience of this.

Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, Councillor Mike Thompson said: “Our focus continues to be to raise awareness of what services are available and how people can access them safely and to reassure people that they will be listened to, believed and protected. Early intervention and prevention Is a key driver to reducing domestic abuse in the longer term and it remains a key priority for the Community Safety Partnership.”

Hull is a White Ribbon City; a campaign which is by men, aimed at men, opposing violence against women – and people can show their support for the campaign by wearing a white ribbon.

Anyone who would like advice or help can contact:

·         Hull Domestic Abuse Partnership on 01482 318 759 or www.hulldap.co.uk

·         Preston Road Women’s Centre on 01482 790 310

·         Hull Women’s Aid on 01482 446099, or

·         Strength to Change on 01482 613 403 or www.hullstrengthtochange.org

[Anna Pilgrim – Hull City Council]

Continue Reading

Humber Modern Slavery Partnership Coordinator appointed

Andrew Smith HMSP Coordinator.

A partnership approach to tackling modern slavery has secured the appointment of a new Coordinator post for the Humber Modern Slavery Partnership (HMSP).

The post is held at theUniversity of Hull’s Wilberforce Institute and funded by the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for Humberside. Commissioner Keith Hunter agreed to fund the post for a three year initial period in recognition of the importance of tackling modern slavery and human trafficking in the Humber area.

Andrew Smith, former volunteer Chair of the HMSP and founder of Hull’s Homeless Community Project, will take up the role next week. As Coordinator, Andrew will work to improve awareness of modern slavery across all four local authority areas (Hull, East Riding, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire) and facilitate national initiatives and awareness campaigns. Andrew will act as a single point of contact on modern slavery and human trafficking and as part of the role will help to reduce vulnerabilities to modern slavery and identify barriers to victim identification and support, participating in feedback on national policy to influence decision making and using a national evidence base to inform practice in our local area.

The Humber Modern Slavery Partnership is a strategic partnership of front line organisations across Humberside dedicated to tackling all forms of modern slavery and human trafficking, by prosecuting perpetrators, disrupting identified organised crime and supporting victims in or out of the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). The Partnership comprises over 60 agencies that have joined together to tackle slavery and trafficking, supporting victims and survivors. Since the establishment of the HMSP our region has witnessed a vast increase in intelligence reports relating to modern slavery and human trafficking.

PCC Keith Hunter said: “Modern Slavery is very real and it is happening right now in our communities. It is important that we raise awareness of this vile trade in vulnerable people and learn to spot the signs that may indicate someone is being held in servitude. I am delighted to be able to fund this new post to work with all agencies involved in identifying and tackling modernslavery.”

Andrew Smith said: “Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking present an ever-evolving threat to the safety and security of our region and the UK as a whole. This serious and organised crime affects us all, exploiting adults and young people as a commodity for financial and criminal gain. Across the Humber region, partners, friends and colleagues are committed to tackling Modern Slavery in all its forms, disrupting serious organised crime and fully supporting victims to achieve meaningful recovery.

“I feel honoured to start this new role as Coordinator of HMSP, together with statutory, third sector, emergency and criminal justice organisations we will work hard to improve prevention and victim care in Humberside.

“As the threat of Modern Slavery grows, so must our response and effectiveness. Serious and organised crime gangs and exploiters are well organised and resourced in avoiding justice. This commitment from the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Wilberforce Institute means we can truly make our area a hostile environment for those who seek to profit from human suffering.”

Dr Alicia Kidd is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Wilberforce Institute and is also Vice Chair ofthe Humber Modern Slavery Partnership. She commented that “The implementation of this roleis a big step forward in demonstrating that there is a real commitment and drive from practitioners in our region to tackle this crime and to support victims. While we have seen great progress since the inception of the HMSP, it will make a real difference having someone dedicated to its improvement and development.”

The Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation is an inter-disciplinary research institute dedicated to the study of slavery in all its forms, historical and contemporary. It provides a forum for academic discourse and interaction and actively works with partners in advancing public understanding of slavery, thereby informing political and social change. In 2015the Wilberforce Institute was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize, which recognises work that is considered of ‘outstanding excellence’.

  •   To report anything suspicious or for advice on tackling modern slavery and human trafficking please call the Modern Slavery Helpline: 08000 121 700
  •   For more information about the Humber Modern Slavery Partnership visit: www.humberantislave.com

[David Hudson – Humberside Police]

Continue Reading

SASH asks ‘Can you help unlock £25,000 to prevent youth homelessness?’

Local youth homelessness prevention charity SASH has been selected to participate  in ‘The Big Give’ fundraising campaign to ensure that no young person is left homeless this winter. The Big Give is the UK’s biggest online matched donor campaign which can match donations £ for £.

Christmas should be a time of joy & spent with loved ones. Sadly, for young homeless people it can be a time of extreme loneliness & isolation. This year SASH, is aiming to raise £25,000 to ensure all young people throughout North and East Yorkshire facing homelessness have a safe and warm place to stay this Christmas and winter.

The charity urgently needs to find pledges culminating in £6,250 to initiate the campaign.  This would enable the charity to attract external support and in total raise £25,000.  All pledges are needed by the 30th August, but do not need to be made into actual donations until December.  Donations will be used to ensure young people have a warm and safe place to stay in a volunteer’s home; are able to access 24/7 care over the festive period and receive a Christmas present and meal with the opportunity to get involved in festive activities such as the panto & ice-skating; things they may never normally get to do.

Anyone interested in the campaign will need to make their pledge online before  30th August 2019 and can do so at tinyurl.com/yxe4twkm or please call the SASH office on 01940 652043.

Peter Robinson, Director at SASH said: “all donations will be gratefully received and will help to ensure that no young person has to be alone or homeless during what should be a time of joy and happiness.  We urge anyone interested in the campaign to donate online or get in touch for more information.”

Continue Reading

Hull City Council extends support for Dock House

Hull City Council, The Guildhall.

Hull City Council has today (Tuesday 13 August) signed a decision record to extend Humbercare’s contract to provide housing related support (HRS) at Dock House in Hull.

The contract means the organisation will continue to provide support to individuals with complex and multiple needs.

Councillor Gwen Lunn, portfolio holder for adult services said: “Our ambition was to shift away from larger hostels and instead encourage the opening of smaller, more dispersed units. This would have avoided the concentration of those with complex needs. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to secure the specialist provision required through the HRS framework.

“However our overriding priority is to ensure that we are able to provide the right level of support for vulnerable adults in the city.”

The contract for HRS has been extended up until Saturday 31 October 2020. Beyond October 2020 an alternative solution will need to be sought, as the site is currently earmarked for housing as part of the East Bank development.

[Kiran Ghuman – Hull City Council]

Continue Reading

The National Archives of the Republic of the Homeless – Artlink exhibition

June 29th @ 10:00 am – August 29th @ 4:00 am, Artlink Hull

Artist Vanessa Cardui has spent six months working with members of Hull’s homeless community and Artlink on a project that has become the exhibition, The National Archives of the Republic of the Homeless. This project will go on show at Artlink Hull from June to August 2019.

June 29th @ 10:00 amAugust 29th @ 4:00 am, Artlink, Princes Avenue, Hull

Vanessa writes:

“The Republic of the Homeless is a little-known state that coexists in parallel with every country in the world. Many of us have lived there; we keep dual citizenship for life. This Republic has a National Archives – a collection of stuff kept for posterity that is somehow about the experience of being without a home. It’s a dispersed Archives, held worldwide by individual people who have lived the experience of being homeless. The trouble with our National Archives is like most other archives everywhere – it’s disorganised, uncatalogued, and underfunded. Although some people are working hard to bring it together, nobody really knows what there is. We have begun to catalogue a particular collection within the Archives – artworks made by homeless and ex-homeless artists and makers in Hull in the 21st century. In this, we confront questions of value, authenticity, belonging, and loss, and explore how anyone’s history can get lost and buried when we fall out of normativity in some way, but even so, we preserve it, under the radar.”

Funded by The Hudgell Trust and Arts Council England
In partnership with the Museum of Homelessness, Westbourne House and the Hull Homeless Community Project

With thanks also to Project Hotdog, and to the homeless and ex-homeless people of Hull.

Website: Artlink Hull

Continue Reading

SGS Apprentices Collect Essential Items for Hull Homeless Community Project

Items donated to HHCP by SGS apprentices and colleagues.

SGS Packaging Europe has three busy offices in Hull, with a combined workforce of around 500 specialists. To reflect its commitment to high-quality training, in 2018 it launched its apprenticeship programme, presenting an exciting way to enter the industry and begin a fulfilling career.

There are currently 16 apprentices working at SGS offices in The Maltings and Bridgehead Business Park. Alongside in-house training, one-to-one mentoring and regular development days, they have also been given ownership over a series of community projects taking place throughout 2019. Ranging from fundraising activities to hands-on community support, the four chosen charities benefitting from this are Hull Homeless Community Project (HHCP), Yorkshire Cancer Research, Hull and East Yorkshire Mind and Aaron’s Battle.

Since early February, the SGS apprentices have been encouraging their colleagues to donate everyday items to collection bins that were placed in the canteens on both sites. Everything donated is being handed over to HHCP to help with the organisation’s Move On project, which transitions individuals and families who have experienced homelessness into safe and comfortable independent living. After three months of SGS staff popping an extra item into their shopping trolleys, together they have accumulated dozens of products that will make a world of difference to HHCP’s service users.

“All kinds of items were donated,” says Nicola Ashton, who manages the apprenticeship programme. “They range from toiletries such as deodorant and toothbrushes, to baby wipes, canned foods, towels, cleaning products and bedding.”

Meanwhile, the apprentices have been organising a range of other activity to further support the four charities. From a promise auction where staff could bid on goods and services such as homemade cakes and dog walking sessions, to selling bags of heart-shaped sweets for Valentine’s Day, the fundraising pot is steadily growing. 

Nicola adds: “They even joined HHCP for a full day to turn a dilapidated flat into a bright and welcoming home by cleaning, painting and decorating every inch of it. This was for a woman who had experienced traumatic abuse and exploitation, creating a safe environment for her to move on and start a fresh chapter.”

Andrew Smith, CEO at HHCP, is also delighted with their attitude and support: “The apprentices are at an age where they’re in a great position to better understand their place in the community. They’re becoming more aware of others around them, feeding their hunger for learning about social issues, and discovering how they can make a difference on a daily basis.”

The apprentices are now looking for local businesses that can help them to deliver additional events during 2019. If you’re interested in collaborating or donating a prize, please get in touch at information@sgsco.com.

Continue Reading

More help for Hull’s rough sleepers

A doorway home for one of Hull’s rough sleepers, but new help is now available too. Photo: Jerome Whittingham

Hull City Council’s commitment to alleviating the problem of rough sleeping in the city has taken another step forward, thanks to a successful grant application to the Rapid Rehousing Pathway 2019 – 20 fund.

The £728,000 will go towards creating an assessment hub. Outreach workers will refer rough sleepers to the hub where workers co-located from a range of services will assess their needs and advise and support individuals to secure accommodation and the support services they need.  The hub will provide a safe place to stay for a short period while full assessments relating to housing, health and finances are completed. The assessments will inform support plans and accommodation matching to ensure that the right support is provided in the most appropriate type of housing.

The new money will also be used to develop more supported lettings in the city. Ten furnished flats will be made available to rough sleepers assessed by the hub for supported living. They will have the support of a Tenancy Sustainment Officer who will oversee their personal development and the tenants can stay in this temporary accommodation as long as it takes to develop skills for independent living and until they can get permanent settled accommodation.

The final element of the funding will help to  establish a Local Lettings Agency to work with landlords in the private rented housing sector. The purpose is to establish a portfolio of properties within the city for letting to homeless people or those at risk of homelessness.

The annual rough sleep count recorded 26 people sleeping rough in Hull. 20 people have been identified as regular rough sleepers by the outreach team. 118 people accessed the council’s emergency beds/Dock House in the three months from 1 November 2018.

Cllr John Black, Portfolio Holder for Housing said: “This is great news and will go a long to enhancing the council’s current provision for rough sleepers and those at risk of sleeping on the streets. It means that they get the support they need quickly and a personalised pathway – from being on the streets through to having sustained accommodation. The government have agreed to fund our bid as they were impressed by the way that the public sector pulls together in Hull to meet the complex needs of people who are sleeping rough and because of the vision we demonstrated in taking this further.”

[Hull City Council news]

Continue Reading

The TalkSuicide campaign encourages people to complete short online suicide prevention training

Humber, Coast and Vale Mental Health Partnership urges people in Hull and Humber complete a free suicide prevention online training programme, and improve support for those suffering from suicidal thoughts.

The Humber, Coast and Vale Mental Health Partnership has launched the #TalkSuicide campaign to encourage people to complete a free 20-minute online suicide prevention training programme. 

The #TalkSuicide campaign urges people in Hull to visit www.talksuicide.co.uk to complete the video-based training, so they can learn life-saving skills and improve the support network for those struggling with suicidal thoughts.   

The Zero Suicide Alliance – a group of NHS Trusts, businesses and individuals committed to suicide prevention – has created the training to help people spot signs in people experiencing suicidal thoughts, and equip them with the information and skills to help them help these people.

There were 5,821 registered suicides in the UK in 2017 – more than one death every two hours – with the Yorkshire and Humber region having some of the highest suicide rates in England.  Mental health issues and financial problems are some of the biggest contributing factors to suicide. 

National statistics show that suicide is the biggest killer of men aged under 50. Men accounted for three quarters of suicides registered in 2017, while those aged between 45-49 are considered to be most at risk.  

Anyone can undertake the training, which only takes 20 minutes to complete, at www.talksuicide.co.uk 

Completing the training will help you to: 

  • Spot signs in people experiencing suicidal thoughts 
  • Feel comfortable speaking about suicide in a supportive manner 
  • Signpost individuals suffering from suicidal thoughts to the correct services or support

Visit www.talksuicide.co.uk to complete the video-based suicide prevention training and learn more about the #TalkSuicide campaign. 

Michele Moran, Chair of the Humber, Coast and Vale Mental Health Partnership Board and Chief Executive at Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Each death by suicide is a terrible loss and a tragedy for everybody involved. By taking just 20 minutes to complete the online training, you could help save someone from taking their own life. The training will help you to be better in identifying suicidal thoughts and behaviour and give you the information to direct them to the most appropriate support services.” 

Jo Kent, Humber, Coast and Vale Suicide Prevention Lead said: “The #TalkSuicide and Zero Suicide Alliance websites have plenty of material to help businesses and organisations incorporate this training into their workplace. We’re calling on individuals and businesses alike to encourage their friends, family, colleagues or employees to complete the online training – because knowing what to do and say in the right situation really can help to save a life.”

If you need urgent help, or if you’re worried about the mental or emotional state of yourself or someone you know, help is available from the following services: 

  • Samaritans offer a 24-hours a day, 7 days a week support service. Call them FREE on 116 123 or e-mail  jo@samaritans.org
  • CALM Campaign Against Living Miserably – for men call 0800 58 58 58 – 5pm to midnight every day – Visit the webchat page
  • PAPYRUS (support for young people) Freephone 0800 068 4141 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org
Continue Reading