[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Church Housing Trust worked with BBC Lifeline to raise funds for an innovative rough sleepers’ project called Street Buddies.
Street Buddies is a scheme, based in Westminster, made up of volunteers who were once rough sleepers.
The volunteers, known as Street Buddies, help people still on the street to make use of support services and build the confidence and skills they need to leave the streets for good. The programme provides opportunities for both the volunteers and the rough sleepers they help, to transform their lives permanently.
The BBC Lifeline appeal was presented by Julia Bradbury after she appeared in the documentary ‘Famous, Rich and Homeless’, where she spent a week sleeping rough.
Julia commented: “Sleeping rough was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done; life on the streets is lonely, exhausting, and you’re invisible. I’m delighted to support this appeal to help rough sleepers come off the streets and rebuild their lives.”
Across TV and the internet, more than one million people viewed the appeal. The BBC appeal raised over £14,000 from more than 900 donors, which will ensure that the project can continue to support its many volunteers. This fantasticamount of support means that we can fund Street Buddies for years to come.
Street Buddies are trained to deal with substance misuse and mental health issues in order to keep themselves and the people they work with safe. Street Buddy Fernando Martin was highly commended for the Inspirational Award in this year’s Westminster Community Awards, which recognises volunteers who improve the lives of others.
Church Housing Trust’s Director, Miriam Morris, says: “In spite of the success of Street Buddies in helping long-term rough sleepers, there is no government funding for the programme. Without donations from our supporters there would be no Street Buddies, now or in the future.”