A message from Matthew Heasman, New Hope’s CEO

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I wanted to personally update you on New Hope’s emergency accommodation provision over the recent extreme weather conditions. We ran what is known as SWEP (Severe Weather Emergency Protocol) over 10 nights and accommodated 14 different individuals. We also worked in partnership with St Mary’s Church and a team of volunteers from local churches who ran a SWEP overflow over two nights (1 and 2 March). 9 people were able to sleep here.

It is important to note that everyone who wanted accommodation was able to be accommodated.

I’m also pleased to report that two men successfully moved on from street sleeping to safe and secure accommodation – thanks to the intensive, personalised support offered by New Hope’s Rough Sleeping Prevention Service.  I want to offer my thanks to the dedicated and professional staff and volunteers at New Hope who have worked to an exceptionally high standard during these difficult conditions. We are also incredibly grateful to our statutory partners: Watford Borough Council and Three Rivers District Council (who provide the funding for SWEP) and the Police. I also want to extend my gratitude to the community of Watford, especially St Mary’s Church and the volunteers who ran SWEP there. Thank you to everyone who has donated warm coats, sleeping bags and fresh food. Thank you for showing such compassion and generosity to those in desperate need.

Many people are contacting us asking how they can help New Hope support people who are sleeping rough. If you would like to join New Hope in offering compassion, care and practical support, then please consider donating warm sleeping bags – these can be taken directly to the Haven Support Centre on Whippendell Road. We also need financial donations – just £4.98 allows us to provide someone sleeping rough with hot food, a shower, clean clothes and laundry facilities. Donations can be made using the following link:

Thank you for your continued involvement, care and generosity.

Matthew

Joe Meehan