Homeless charity’s desperate plea for volunteers after 254% increase in demand on services on South East coast
Warming up the Homeless is an award winning, registered frontline charity on the South East coast, and it has seen an increase in its services by an astounding 254% in just one year.
It is no surprise then that it is asking for more people to help deliver its invaluable support to people in need.
Charity won’t turn people away
Chief executive Trudy Hampton says: “We are seeing many more homeless families, children and adults in dire situations.
“It is heartbreaking what we see.
“Our dedicated team of core outreach volunteers go out on the streets every day; supporting the homeless with food parcels, hot drinks, toiletries and offer welfare support.
“Our services are stretched to the hilt but we won’t turn people away.”
The charity has been operating since 2015 along the South East coast including Hastings, Battle, Bexhill, Eastbourne and surrounding areas.
Trudy adds: “The rate of homelessness has increased exponentially, exacerbated further by the current cost of living crisis; affecting visible rough sleepers and more invisible homeless, such as sofa surfers and those without a fixed tenancy agreement.”
Volunteers will undergo a mandatory training course
“People don’t know what to do. But we do and we’re able to put support in place for them and give them the confidence to do what they need.”
The support is there for desperate people who need it; and volunteers are sought to help provide that support.
Outreach volunteers will undergo a mandatory training course through East Sussex Council on safeguarding , with an additional in-house professional boundaries course, to fully explore safety aspects.
All volunteers support the street homeless as a minimum group of four, providing safety in numbers.
Trudy explains: “We’ve got three charity shops. We need people to support in the shops; we need people to cook; we need people to drive. We need people to sort out donations. We need people to do paperwork. If people are willing to offer their time, we would love to hear from them.”
Some of the stories are heartbreaking
In May 2023, the charity opened Hastings Homeless Support Centre, a structured day centre for those who identify as homeless or facing homelessness.
The centre offers a gardening club, a book club and many other activities and are supported by charities of whose services will help in the homeless journey.
Statutory Services also use the building as a host venue offering the vital support to those with mental health or substance misuse issues as well as housing and physical health.
Trudy says: “Some of the stories we hear are heartbreaking and our volunteers are desperate to help.
How to get in touch and offer help
“We train our volunteers to use the proper chains of referral, whilst building up friendly yet professional boundaries.”
Trudy says: “The work is hard-hitting, but we are making a difference every day.”