Share this article:
An event occurred fifty years ago this week that led to the creation of Framework.
Today few people have heard of Nottingham Help the Homeless Association (NHHA) – the charity which began on 9 December 1970. In 2001 it merged with another small Nottingham charity – Macedon, to form Framework.
Today Framework helps more than 18,000 people each year across Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire and Sheffield. Framework in turn will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year.
Nottingham Help the Homeless Association began when a small group of concerned citizens took action following the death of homeless people on the streets of Nottingham in the winter of 1969/70.
On 9 December 1970 two Nottingham social workers, a consultant psychiatrist, a Church of England clergyman, an academic, a ‘Probate Officer’ and an ‘Insurance Man’ officially became the founding members of the new company limited by guarantee. Nottingham Help the Homeless Association was born, and quickly registered as a charity.
To accommodate some of those sleeping rough in Nottingham NHHA established the Canal Street Nightshelter. With Nottingham City Council’s support this was developed in the late 1990s to become the London Road emergency accommodation service offering 24 hour provision for for 57 homeless men and women.
Alongside this, NHHA was innovative in its work: Handel Street Day Centre, which began in 1991, allowed the supervised consumption of alcohol on its premises whilst signposting street drinkers and others to treatment. The centre closed in the cuts of 2011 but its ethos survives.
The spirit of NHHA – and Macedon – lives on: Framework’s central office, Val Roberts House on Gregory Boulevard in Nottingham, is named after a leading light of both NHHA and Framework.
Several other staff from NHHA’s latter days are still involved. Andrew Redfern, Framework’s current Chief Executive, joined NHHA as its Director in 1996. In addition to the development of the London Road service, Andrew’s achievements with NHHA included leading the negotiations that culminated in the merger with Macedon and the creation of Framework.
Andrew says: “I believe those public-spirited citizens who began NHHA would see their vision realised in what Framework does now. It happens on a larger, more holistic scale, with professional staff and serving a wider geographical area. But the underlying cause is the same – to tackle homelessness and its causes.”
To support our work with rough sleepers today please support our latest appeal: