The Fusion21 Foundation has donated £10,000 to a new innovative fundraising campaign, Real Change Wigan and Leigh, to help rough sleepers build independent lives away from the streets.
The campaign raises money for practical items which help people who are homeless, with things like a deposit for a home, enrolment on a training course or buying new clothes for a job interview.
Alison’s is a beneficiary whose life has changed for the better thanks to support from the Real Change initiative.
Alison had been living in supported accommodation with housing association and Fusion21 member Riverside since April 2018, after a relationship breakdown which left her homeless.
While staying at the hostel, she put in a lot of work to successfully manage her anxiety and also successfully participated and completed the Prince’s Trust programme which helped her to develop the skills to find employment.
In October Alison found employment, but still living in the hostel, she was now not eligible for the discounted service rates and her rent shot up. With all her savings going on past debts, she was only able to save up some of the money for a deposit on her own rented property.
Real Change matched what Alison had saved to achieve her goal of moving to a tenancy that is affordable, safe and somewhere she can call home. She is now excited to move into her tenancy, and has been able to choose a reliable landlord who is reputable, which makes her feel secure.
Alison said:“The support I received has helped me to secure the lovely flat that I am moving to. Without it I would be living in accommodation that I am unable to afford and this may have led to a decline in my mental wellbeing and put me at risk of becoming homeless again.”
Real Change Wigan and Leigh is a partnership between charities and voluntary groups in the area including Riverside, The Brick, Jigsaw Housing Group, Your Housing Group, Helping the Homeless and Wigan Council.he way Real Change is set up through partners is a really effective way to give because there are assurances that your donation gets to where it’s needed, when it is needed.”
Paul Booth, Social Investment Manager at Fusion21 said: “We wanted to support a cause which can have an immediate impact to help people who are homeless, but also be assured that our donation goes to the people who need it.
“The way Real Change is set up through partners is a really effective way to give because there are assurances that your donation gets to where it’s needed, when it is needed.”
Jenny Morris, Chair of the Real Change campaign and Riverside Area Manager, added: “The two questions people ask when they see homelessness on the rise is ‘what is being done about this’ and ‘how can I help’? The fund provides an effective way for people to create real change for people who are homeless, and the partnership works by everyone pitching in together.
“The fund was also set up to help the hidden homeless such as people that are sofa-surfing, or going from place to place, not knowing where they might be able to sleep that night. With increasing public interest in homelessness, Real Change Wigan and Leigh aims to give people in the borough a way to help directly.”
By making it easier to give through Just Giving the campaign harnesses the generosity of business, other organisations and the public.
If you would like to get involved in this project, either by donating, volunteering or sharing your skills then please click here.