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Bristol Homeless Forum
BHF News - 13 November 2014


Homeless Forum
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Bristol Nightstop

For the period 1st September - 1st October 2014:

  • 17 referrals
  • 26 host nights offered, 25 used
  • Gender 47% male / 52% female
  • 20 active hosts (some temporary unavailability due to illness / holidays)

We think the recruitment of a female keyworker is helping young women to engage.

Open Evening held 3rd November to recruit more hosts but not many people came. Annual report available on request.

Staff are increasingly being invited to speak at conferences and events and we have been asked to advise/mentor a prospective scheme in Bath.

We are undertaking a review of the Deposit Bond Scheme as it is not producing the required outcomes for young people so far; we suspect more intensive keyworking is required over a longer period.

Bristol Soup Run Trust

From Steve Jones, Bristol Soup Run Trust Chairman.

The Bristol Soup Run Trust now has an operating storage facility in Safe Store Pennnywell Road. It has initially been stocked up with:

  • blankets, socks, pants, hats, gloves;
  • toothpaste (with toothbrushes in box);
  • shower gel, both men's and women's.

This is the start and we will monitor how we go. So far it looks promising and if the teams use it enough we will look to expand the storage area.

The new magnetic car stickers have now been produced and are being issued to teams. We really hope it will help members of the public identify us, and help to bring in more volunteers or maybe just cash donations.

Caring at Christmas

Shifts are filling up nicely but we are currently short for Christmas Eve overnight and the clean-up shift on 1st January. We are advertising for volunteers in the Big Issue.

The online application system has saved us several hundred pounds in postage costs, and many man-hours of administration. Applications and references are paperless; shifts and training sessions are booked online and confirmed by return email. Shift sign-in and sign-out sheets are automatically generated and updated with any changes so will be more accurate on the door.

BDP have provided training material and the Samaritans will be giving a talk. We are expanding the training material available for Supervisors.

We have bought a walk-in fridge. Lee is returning as storesperson.

We anticipate a shortage of free parking for volunteers as the council won't grant us sufficient additional permits. Places for People and Cabot Circus have offered us some spaces but it won't be enough; we continue to look for solutions.

Caring in Bristol

The National Lottery Reaching Communities application was submitted at the end of September. The Finance Committee is considering options for the temporary investment of surplus funds if we are successful.

We are developing a fundraising pack for schools and businesses, and are in the early stages of planning a nationwide cycle ride in 2015 between the various cities with Nightstop projects.

Staff have attended additional safeguarding training.

On 21st November CIB is hosting a "Homeless Children & Young People, Rough Sleepers, Missing & Runaways" workshop in partnership with the University of Wolverhampton.

Strangers' Friend Society

The CAB housing dept continues to receive items for its clients on request including bus passes.


Bear Pit Redevelopment

Richard Hawkridge from Bristol City Council has been in touch about feeding homeless people in the Bear Pit.

The Bearpit Improvement Group (chair: Alan Morris) have the licence from the Council to use the space, and one condition is that no handouts are provided.

The two key issues seem to be:

  • large numbers of homeless people congregating in the Bear Pit make the public uncomfortable and less likely to use the space; and
  • this has a negative effect on the traders present, both from the reduced footfall, and also from free food being given away when they are trying to make a living by selling food.

There will be a meeting for interested people on the evening of 27 November: ask Paul for details if you are interested.

Digital Empowerment for Homeless People

Lemos&Crane have created a web site called 'SupportActionNet' (www.lemosandcrane.co.uk/supportactionnet) - "Long-term well-being and resilience for homeless people".

Homeless Forum

The BCAN Homeless Forum was set up as one of the activities of BCAN - the Bristol Christian Action Network. This provided an identity and a degree of accountability, although in practice we just got on with our own work.

In the past few years, BCAN has slowly ceased to operate as a number of reasons led to most of the key people who had been involved moving away. The BCAN Homeless Forum is the last remaining activity.

Paul Hazelden is seeking support to establish a new, improved version of BCAN. If anyone is interested in contributing to this, please let Paul know.


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This page last updated: 12 November 2014
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