Stockport Express Update 14-12-16
Jonathan Billings Project Manager The Wellspring
The festive period can be a very difficult time for people, especially people who are rough sleeping or homeless. Shelter one of many homelessness charities are reporting a 30% increase in homelessness nationally over the last 12 months alone, this is very much in line with the kind of numbers that we are seeing both at The Wellspring and on the streets of Stockport. The Wellspring is open every day including all days over Christmas and New Year. We are open 10am-2pm on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Full Christmas meals will be served everyday over the festive period. Every one attending The Wellspring over Christmas will also receive a gift. Importantly for the staff team at The Wellspring all our other services will be in place, Project workers will be available to work with any homeless person, aiming to get them off the streets. Not just over the festive period but long term. Project workers at Wellspring proactively engage with people who are at risk of homelessness in order to prevent them from becoming homeless in the first place. Other workers will be available to support people with health concerns, addiction issues and other problems. I am always overwhelmed by the number of calls and emails that we get from people wanting to volunteer over Christmas. In the New Year we plan to launch a new programme of volunteering at The Wellspring and we will be creating numerous new volunteering roles which will assist The Wellspring in supporting more people off the streets.
It is pleasing to hear that the labour party plan to end all homelessness with in the first 5 years of their government, should they be elected in the next general election. Grabbing the headlines is their plan to do this by providing more affordable housing which will be ring fenced for homeless people. Homelessness however is not just about a lack of housing, it is a factor but it’s not the solution. Homelessness is simply a symptom of something else, a relationship breakdown, a debt problem, a benefit issue, a mental health problem and a thousand other factors that could lead anyone down a path to homelessness. Addressing these issues and providing people with intensive support and guidance is absolutely crucial without doing this homelessness will never end.
We would like to wish everyone in Stockport a Merry Christmas. Thanks so much to everyone who has contributed or supported The Wellspring over the last 12 months. We look forward to 2017 and doing more to support some of the most vulnerable people in our community. Please remember that The Wellspring is open Monday to Thursday 10am-8pm and Friday to Sunday 10am-2pm every day of the year. Please don’t be alone or suffer any problem in silence. We would be delighted to see you at The Wellspring, everyone is welcome to spend time at The Wellspring this Christmas. The Wellspring can be found on Harvey St in the town centre. Please see thewellspring.co.uk for more information about the project and the work we do in Stockport.