The Somerset Move-In Fund awards £70,000 of grants to support homelessness charities

October 26, 2020

Grants worth over £70,000 have been awarded to eight local charities and community groups directly supporting homeless people to move into independent living. Funds were awarded from The Somerset Move-In Fund, managed by Somerset Community Foundation (SCF).

After consulting a range of homelessness charities and community groups earlier in the year, SCF were told that many homeless people couldn’t move into their own homes because they couldn’t find the funds to purchase essentials such as curtains, carpets, furniture, white goods, and pots and pans.

Val Bishop, Programmes Director at SCF explains: “Last year we published our Hidden Somerset: Homelessness report which showed that hundreds, if not thousands of people continue to sleep rough or live in inappropriate or insecure housing across Somerset. In light of recent government initiatives to provide temporary housing for all rough sleepers in Somerset, we have an unprecedented opportunity to help potentially hundreds of local homeless people into their own homes and dramatically reduce homelessness in our county over the next two years.”

The Somerset Move-In Fund has been designed to help local charities give homeless people the best possible chance of finding a place to live and make it a home, with each individual receiving up to £500 of support.

Val continues: “We’re delighted to award these grants from The Somerset Move-In Fund and to continue our successful partnership with Somerset County Council. We’d like to thank them and the other generous donors who contributed to the Fund for their kind support, which will help hundreds of some of the most disadvantaged people in our communities to build a more stable, safe and fulfilling life.”

The organisations that have been awarded the grants are:-

  • ARC (formerly Taunton Association for the Homeless) – £10,000
  • Citizens Advice Mendip, Shepton Mallet – £10,000
  • Elim Connect Centre, Wells – £10,000
  • Grace Advocacy, Bridgwater – £2,000
  • Second Step, Somerset West & Taunton – £10,000
  • The Nelson Trust, Bridgwater – £10,000
  • West Somerset Advice, Minehead – £8,040
  • YMCA Brunel Group, Mendip and South Somerset – £10,000

Leader of Somerset County Council David Fothergill said: “A little bit of kindness goes a long way. This money will be used to do what, for many homeless people, would have been provided by family and friends. Parents, for example, will often give a helping hand when their son or daughter goes off to university or sets up home independently.

“It will help so many who want to move on and make a new and positive start, yet just need that small act of help and kindness to set them on that path.”

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