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Framework’s support for thousands of homeless and vulnerable people across the East Midlands during the pandemic has been made possible thanks to the flexibility and commitment of staff, the cooperation of service users, and generous support in cash and in kind from the public, businesses, grant giving bodies and the government.

Financial help to cover additional expenses and lost income has been led by a £200,000 grant from the government’s Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund.

In addition, members of the public and small trusts answered a fundraising appeal with donations totalling £40,000; Nottingham-based live music promoter DHP re-directed funds raised at its Beat the Streets festival; and leading corporate supporter Nottingham Building Society contributed £30,000 and withheld rent demands.

Private, charitable and commercial donors made extensive gifts in kind which, through the contribution of volunteer drivers and volunteer professional cooks, led to the production and delivery of around 20,000 meals, nearly 1,000 food parcels, and many other provisions including toiletries and bedding.

These were distributed to homeless and vulnerable people across Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, Derbyshire and Sheffield from the start of lockdown in late March to mid-August. Key contributors included including Sewa Day, Open Kitchens, EverSo, FareShare, Bombay Sweet Centre, Pork Farms and Morrisons.

The following appreciative comment – one of dozens from front line workers – indicates the life-saving impact of the supply of meals: “A very high risk client who needs to self isolate due to being HIV positive was overwhelmed with the service. I believe the food provision makes compliance with HIV treatment possible. Please pass on my gratitude to the providers of this excellent, potentially life-saving service.”

Framework Chief Executive Andrew Redfern said: “Closing was not an option during lockdown: thousands of homeless and vulnerable people living with mental health, drug and alcohol problems depended on the support of our frontline key workers: the challenges of Covid accentuated the challenges they already faced.

“The support we have received from the community during this time has been unprecedented and on behalf of everyone at Framework I say a heartfelt thank you.

“However the contribution of staff and service users also deserves recognition. To maintain essential services with up to 20% of staff shielding demanded massive reorganisation and a lot of flexibility. Framework’s staff are renowned for their commitment and have been absolutely fantastic in their positive response. In addition service users have helped greatly by complying so readily with the guidelines.

“The pandemic has a long way to run and we are now beginning to see signs of its economic impact in rising numbers of homeless people.

“Framework itself has withstood the pandemic so far and I am confident that we can continue to do so – especially with the generous support of so many people who recognise the important role of our staff – keyworkers all – in helping the most vulnerable people in our communities.”

Chris Senior

Interim Communications Manager

To learn more about Framework’s Covid response watch a special 30 minute webinar here including an interview with Andrew Redfern. If you are short of time the Redfern interview is available here.