Stockport Express update 22-02-17
Jonathan Billings Project Manager The Wellspring.
I am becoming increasingly concerned with the number of people who are currently begging in Stockport town centre. I was speaking to a person who was begging close to Mersey Way last week for around 5 minutes. During this short time 3 members of the public all gave the person money, one person gave £5. I asked the person begging what they would spend that money on? “Vodka” was the response. In my experience people who are sat on the streets of our towns and cities during the day time are people with addictions who need appropriate support and guidance in order to tackle these addictions. I would always question that when a person appears to be street homeless, is sitting on our high street all day, an appropriate way to try and better their situation? Why are they not accessing day services? Ask yourself the question. If you were homeless, would you be sat outside ASDA cap in hand? Why are they not coming to The Wellspring to get advice and support from the project staff? Why are they not engaging with Stockport Homes and other providers of housing in the area? Giving money to people sitting on the street is simply keeping people trapped in a cycle of addiction and does nothing to help the person, in fact it only makes things worse for that individual. I would encourage members of the public to stop and chat with people and let them know that The Wellspring is open 365 days a year 9am-8pm Monday to Thursday and 9am-3pm Friday to Sunday we will do absolutely everything we can to support anyone with any issue no matter how big or small. Please do not given money to people in the street. It may seem like the right thing to do, but actually, it does nothing to help.
At The Wellspring we are able to focus our work on people who have found themselves homeless for a very wide range of different reasons. In my experience I have only known a very small number of homeless people who would sit on the streets and beg for money. We currently have 2 excellent Social work students working at The Wellspring alongside 4 dedicated Project Workers, giving housing advice, supporting people with benefit claims, providing tenancy support and advocating for vulnerable people. We also have a dedicated drugs and alcohol Project Worker who can support people to address any drug or alcohol issue.
The Great Manchester 10K Run and the new Great Manchester Half Marathon are The Wellsprings biggest fundraising events. Wellspring places in the 10k or the half marathon are free in return for fundraising for The Wellspring. We don’t set anyone a fundraising target. If anyone would like to take part and support The Wellspring please email your full name, address and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org more information about The Wellspring charity and the work we do in Stockport can be found at thewellspring.co.uk