Support groups band together to help Weston’s homeless

PUBLISHED: 17:00 14 February 2018

More than 50 people attended the meeting. Picture: Eleanor Young

More than 50 people attended the meeting. Picture: Eleanor Young

Archant

Groups which are dedicated to supporting Weston’s homeless have agreed to work together to take positive steps forward.

Volunteers and group leaders from Churches Together, Weston Homeless and Hands Of Change attended a meeting this week at the Grand Atlantic Hotel to discuss what needed to be done to help rough sleepers.

The meeting offered an opportunity for people to find out more about the interested parties, as well as to come up with a deal to move forward.

MORE: Homeless came to the forefront during a social media campaign in January.

A vote was cast to decide the way forward, with a majority of 36 people agreeing to form a committee with representatives from each organisation and charities under the umbrella group, Heart Of Weston, which aims to develop the health and well-being of people in the centre of Weston.

Group leader Anne Bunn addressed the meeting with the motion to bring different organisations together to ‘sit around the same table’ and take the next step forward.

MORE: Weston businesses have pledged their support.

Representatives from the YMCA, Somewhere To Go and St Mungo’s will also join the committee as well as North Somerset councillors Richard Nightingale and James Clayton, who have both played an active role in the campaign.

The meeting was hosted by the Weston Homeless Facebook group which launched in January and has already gained a massive following of 2,000 people, prompting more people to join the fight against homelessness.

MORE: What is it like to be homeless?

In the past few weeks big steps have been taken to decrease the number of people sleeping rough, with Weston Town Council agreeing to put £25,000 towards a night shelter and town centre businesses offering up an additional £12,000.

Hands Of Change, which was launched in Burnham, also branched out to Weston to provide meals to rough sleepers.

The meeting also heard from Naseem Talukdar from Feed The Homeless Bristol, a registered charity which provides hot meals to people in the city centre.

MORE: Weston Town Council pledged £25,000 to the homeless.

Naseem, who set up the charity three years ago, praised Weston for the ‘immense support’ he witnessed at the meeting.

He also offered his charity’s help, saying: “We have been looking to branch out further to places like Oxford so we would be happy to support people in Weston.”

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