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A conversation with Andrew Smith, Hull Homeless Community Project.

[12 May 2017]
Andrew Smith leads Hull Homeless Community Project.

In this recorded conversation Andrew and I explore the joys, perils, responsibilities and successes of running a new charity within the homelessness sector.
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0:00 - Across the Humber region there's a whole range of voluntary sector activity, ranging from individuals that go out doing soup runs, through to large very well organised charities with large turnovers housing a hundred or so people each night of the year. Somewhere in that mix is Hull Homeless Community Project which is led by Andrew Smith. They've just celebrated their first year of operating as a registered charity, and Andrew has come in to have a chat about the management of a charity, the development of a charity.

So, take me right back, if you will, to that moment of conception, when you realised that your interests needed to be formalised a little bit more and you then registered as a charity. Take me right back to the beginning, how did it come about?

2:25 - How did you begin to 'pull together', to make these impacts? What tools and mechanisms helped you to reach people and to get your volunteers together?

3:37 - Why register as a charity? What are the pros and cons of actually registering as a charity with the Charity Commission?

5:07 - Tell me more about the management responsibilities you have to take on when you become a registered charity.

6:51 - None of us can get it right every day, all of the time. So, looking back over the last year, give me some detail of a moment when something went wrong, that big bump on the learning curve.

8:27 - It's only right I ask you about the better times now then, the successes over the last year, what really shined for you?

9:59 - There's a huge myriad of needs in the people that you meet, how do you go about focusing your direction as a charity, because you could just go off in several different directions every day, how do you focus where to put your resources and energy?

12:41 - If the political genie was released from the bottle and granted you one wish to change one policy, one Government policy, what would that be? What would make it easy for you, or easier for you as a charity?
It started with a small team of people that loved to see a smile on someone's face and knowing that they've done something good that week.
Andrew Smith - leader, Hull Homeless Community Project.
Once you have set out your charitable aims you have to work as hard as possible to meet them. The compliance and the management has to be good to make sure we're doing what we say we're doing.
Andrew Smith - leader, Hull Homeless Community Project.
What we've started to look at … is those at risk of homelessness, those threatened by homelessness. It's much more cost effective to a small charity, and to the public purse, to stop homelessness happening in the first place.
Andrew Smith - leader, Hull Homeless Community Project.

More information:

General Election 2017 - Conversations about homelessness and housing in the Humber Region.

At HumberHelp we believe the General Election is not a 'one issue' - Brexit - debate. Housing is an issue for all of us, and homelessness an issue for many.

In the run up to 8th June we'll be having conversations with parliamentary candidates, politicians and policy makers, housing and homelessness sector professionals, and those affected by housing matters. We'll be asking questions, and reflecting on homelessness and housing issues together.

Please listen to the interviews, share online, and join in the conversation.

More #GE2017 conversations here.

Do you have something to say about housing or homelessness in the Humber region? Get in touch!