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In the winter months, and especially around Christmas, public concern for those less fortunate and particularly for people who are homeless is always evident.

However in the past four months individuals, families, community groups, churches, businesses, charitable trusts and many others have opened their hearts and their wallets in an overwhelming display of concern and generosity in response to our winter appeal Homeless to Home.

We had hopes of raising £60,000 but by the time the appeal closed at the end of January £231,687.22 had been donated – three and half times more than anticipated.

This overwhelming generosity follows a similarly generous response to our Covid-19 appeal last spring.  We are most grateful for this continued support which demonstrates the public’s concern and appreciation of the extra need to look out for homeless and vulnerable people during the pandemic.

The focus of our winter appeal was on ending homelessness by tackling rough sleeping – not just supporting people on the streets but helping them off the streets into accommodation and preventing people ending up on the streets in the first place.

Levels of rough sleeping have increased significantly in recent months with, for instance, about two new rough sleepers appearing on the streets of Nottingham each week, and nearly two out of every three people sleeping rough for the first time.

We received more than 1,000 donations by post and online; 72 individuals and groups took part in the Homeless to Home Challenge during November; 33 businesses and other organisations made donations; and a wonderful array of very generous gifts in kind including clothes, food, toiletries and toys brightened Christmas for people of all ages throughout our services.

The public’s unprecedented response will enable several important initiatives to take place which will contribute to our work across Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, and Lincolnshire in the coming year. There is a strong emphasis on helping to tackle mental health issues which are significant both as a cause and a consequence of rough sleeping.

The funds raised will:

  • provide additional resources to support the work of Framework’s street outreach teams working with rough sleepers in Nottingham and across Nottinghamshire at a time when the number of rough sleepers is increasing
  • provide a clinical psychologist to help homeless people with complex needs in Nottingham
  • contribute to the funding of a clinical psychologist to work with teams helping young people in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire to address their mental health issues
  • bring the expertise of a clinical psychologist to work with Framework’s teams supporting homeless people across Lincolnshire
  • support the work of Framework’s street outreach team in Sheffield.

On behalf of everyone at Framework, and all the people who will benefit from the public’s generosity, I wish to say a very sincere “Thank you” to all who took part and supported the appeal.  Your support is greatly appreciated and you can be confident that the resources provided will be well used to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping.