Peasholme Charity asked if we would publicise their Christmas Hardship Fund this month and of course we are more than happy to. Here’s what they had to tell us about it.
2020 has been a difficult year for everyone – but unimaginably difficult for people experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of losing their homes.
At Peasholme Charity over 50% of the people we’ve been supporting during the pandemic are using services for the first time, having never needed “outside help” before.
We continue to work with York Foodbank to support people newly hungry and no longer able to put food on the table. We’re supporting people that have suddenly found themselves unemployed or with a significantly reduced income, unable to pay rent and bills and being pulled into poverty through no fault of their own.
As a small, independent charity we’ve been able to react quickly to the ever changing rules and guidance. We quickly launched a crisis helpline so we could still reach the people we’d usually advise at York Foodbank. Through that helpline 101 local people have been helped with problems relating to housing, debt and food.
Our Community Advice Worker has accessed over £2000 in hardship grants to cover the cost of children’s clothing, including school uniform and footwear, beds and bedding, funeral expenses and moving costs for a family fleeing domestic violence.
Pets have become ever more important during lockdown, especially for socially excluded or isolated people and people that live alone. We’ve also covered the cost of vets fees and pet food to keep furry friends healthy and at home with their owners.
Our housing team, Ray and Ian, have been helping people with complex and often dangerous housing issues. They’ve supported rough sleepers staying in local hotels with 410 pizza deliveries and £650 worth of wellbeing packs containing toiletries and hand sanitisers.
More recently they’ve been delivering hot meals to homeless people in partnership with Mecca Bingo. They remain in contact with people experiencing street homelessness, visiting Carecent, St Saviourgate daily and carrying out street walks across central York.
Financial Capability Coach, Alison, has continued to help people in financial crisis. Alison has had 64 new referrals since March, on top of her usual case load. A shocking 60% of these people are ‘new’ to accessing services.
Alison has sourced over £2000 in grants to support local people experiencing financial hardship, using the money to purchase winter essentials like coats and bedding.
Grant money has also been used to cover the cost of utility bills to prevent debts from escalating and mobile phone costs to keep people connected which has been a lifeline during periods of isolation.
We continue to support vulnerable people in York, including those financially hit by the pandemic, who are struggling to make ends meet, unable to heat their homes and left with tough choices to make like turning on the lights or putting food on the table.
A donation to our Christmas Hardship Fund would help local individuals and families stay warm and fed as well as keep vulnerable and socially excluded people connected over the Christmas period.
Please donate here: https://peasholmecharity.enthuse.com/donations and know that your donation is hugely appreciated.