As we head towards the Autumn season, the cooler weather is starting to bring out the umbrellas, jumpers and socks – everything we need to stay dry and warm on our trips out of the house. With Autumn just a few short weeks away, only the most seasoned campers are still braving their sleeping bags to grab a glance of the moon from their tents.
Temperatures during October drop to an average of 7°c at night-time in the UK and according to the Government’s Public Health Matters blog (from 16th January 2019), being in temperatures below 18°c are most likely to cause health problems, including lowering the body’s ability to fight off infection and blood clotting issues, such as strokes & heart attacks. For anyone on the streets without a tent, it’s impossible to stay dry and warm and health risks are increased by poor nutrition and exposure to the elements.
This year to date, we have given out 39 tents, 80 sleeping bags and 10 blankets and duvets to rough sleepers in the Canterbury area, and we’re grateful to anyone who has donated equipment and vital funds to help keep clients warm and dry as the weather gets colder.
Our 2021 Harvest Campaign
Throughout September and October, we’re encouraging schools, businesses and other organisations to run fundraising activities for our Harvest campaign and leading up to World Homeless Day on 10th October. If you run a club or fundraise within a local organisation and would like to get your hands on our Fundraising Pack, please click this link to download it.
In the pack, it details inspiration for fundraising ideas and includes posters and certificates for participants as well as a sponsorship form. Ideas include sponsored events, such as a sponsored silence, sponsored walk/run, a Dance-A-Thon or Draw-A-Thon. Running a bake sale or holding an art fair are a great way of getting others involved and selling tickets to an event, such as a charity football match or quiz night are a great way of bringing the community together.
If you decide to run an event, please tell us all about it, we love hearing your ideas and can also arrange to come and visit your school/group to talk about the work we do. Our staff all hold a valid DBS certificate and we enjoy talking about our vital work for the homeless of East Kent.
Hope for Prison Leavers
The UK government recently unveiled plans to provide additional support to prison leavers, to aid in breaking the cycle of offenders having little support and nowhere to go once they leave prison, leading them to reoffend as a way to survive. This ‘revolving door’ prison system has needed reviewing for many years and is something we have discussed many times in our campaigning.
The new support system offers prison leavers basic, temporary accommodation upon leaving prison, an increase in the recruitment of ex-offenders within the Civil Service and additional investment in drug & alcohol treatment to rehabilitate offenders. There has also been an increase in the discharge grant from £46 to £76 (the first increase since 1996).
Given the number of prison leavers we see through our doors each year, the plan is a vital step in supporting prison leavers and in helping to break the reoffender cycle. We welcome this news, after campaigning for change alongside many other homeless charities for many years, since this gives hope to those leaving prison about their future, providing opportunities and a safe place to stay.
To read more about the Government’s plans, click here.