Turning Tides’ Littlehampton team offers hope for the year ahead

Turning Tides in Littlehampton ended a difficult 2021 on a high and the charity looks forward to a brighter year ahead.

Part of the work will be passing on some of the positivity to the clients and empowering them to feel hope for the future.

Based at Littlehampton United Church, the Littlehampton Community Hub offers vital services to assist individuals on their pathway out of homelessness.

On average, 20 people visit the hub each day to seek support and advice on a wide range of needs from Turning Tides, working in collaboration with a number of external agencies.

Richard Erdelyi, Turning Tides’ Littlehampton service manager, with, from left, Catherine Hill, Jade Marsland and Hannah Madden at Littlehampton Community Hub in 2019, the year they started serving Christmas Day dinner. Picture: Kate Shemilt ks190672-2

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Richard Erdelyi, Turning Tides’ Littlehampton service manager, said: “For those facing homelessness, 2021 was an incredibly difficult year, filled with so much uncertainty. In fact, we have seen more and more people reaching out to our services who have become homeless from the impact of the pandemic.

“The support of partnerships and the community has made all the difference to the people using our services and we are so grateful. The recent addition of accommodation has also made a big difference – bridging the gap from homelessness to fully independent living, which can sometimes feel an impossible leap.

“Although we are all hoping for a brighter 2022, many of those turning to our services don’t feel hopeful or positive about the future. It is our mission to support and empower them so they can transform their lives, so they too can feel hope for the future.”

Rob at the Christmas Day dinner

Turning Tides works closely with the charity Stonepillow and Arun District Council to find long-term solutions locally and through its strong relationship with the church, it was able to open low-support flats in Littlehampton for individuals taking their first step out of homelessness.

In October, Turning Tides’ Littlehampton community workers were awarded a divisional commendation by Sussex Police for their work supporting vulnerable people throughout the pandemic. To read more about this, CLICK HERE

To end the year, a hot Christmas Day lunch was provided by staff and volunteers. As well as offering a listening ear and place of comfort, the team handed out items to help during winter months – gifts donated by local schools, businesses and organisations.

The charity said support from the community was always gratefully received by the charity and it gave people experiencing homelessness some reassurance that others care about their welfare.

Amy Thorley, community development officer, said: “Every year, we are overwhelmed that so many people offer their time and skills on Christmas Day. It is truly wonderful that people voluntarily take time out of their own Christmas festivities to share it with members of their community.

Volunteers prepared delicious home-cooked food and offered companionship for those that visited the Hub in Littlehampton on Christmas Day.”

Support offered at the Littlehampton hub usually includes an employment coach and regular visits are made by a nurse, mental health practitioner and dentist.

For more information about the charity and to make a donation, visit www.turning-tides.org.uk or telephone 01903 680740.