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Funding from Fusion21 Foundation has transformed lives

The Fusion21 Foundation has donated £10,000 to Real Change Wigan and Leigh, a new innovative fundraising campaign which helps rough sleepers build independent lives away from the streets.

The Real Change fund supports people who are homeless by paying for items they need, with things like a deposit for a home, enrolment on a training course or buying new clothes for a job interview.

Meet Stuart

Stuart is an ex-serviceman who had been living in a tent for over a year.

Just before Real Change was launched, Stuart received a job offer for full time work – this was great news, but very hard to take up without secure, stable accommodation where he could properly sleep, live and go out to work without worrying about his possessions being safe.

Local organisation EDs Homes had previously been in touch with Stuart to help with his housing arrangements and to establish if he would be eligible for Real Change funding. When suitable accommodation was found, Real Change was able to help cover the deposit and first months’ rent.

Having been out of work and with no landlord who could provide a reference, the grant also unlocked a door into the private sector giving Stuart an opportunity when landlords might otherwise have been nervous about taking on a new tenant.

There were tears in Stuart’s eyes when he moved into the flat, and he immediately offered to pay the money back. His generosity after everything he’s been through is an example to everyone. If he has the cash spare in the future it will go straight back into the pot to help others who are homeless!

Since moving in, Stuart has decorated the flat to make it feel like home and is working hard at his new job. He is also spending lots of time with his family, something that is very hard to do if you are living in a tent, an aspect of homelessness we often forget.

If you would like to get involved in this project, either by donating, volunteering or sharing your skills then please click here.