In partnership with the Wiltshire County Council Rough Sleeper Team, Devizes Opendoors, the local charity supporting our homeless and vulnerable people, and David Owen’s chosen charity for 2020, achieved a great deal during the first lockdown. At the start of April 2020, 11 homeless people were on Devizes Opendoors radar, but by the end of August, over half had been helped to find housing.
However, as the pandemic continues, and housing inequalities worsen, many rough sleepers face a struggle this winter. It is expected that free housing will eventually come to an end, which will inevitably lead to greater homelessness. Devizes Opendoors will, however, continue to run three sessions a week at St John’s Parish Rooms, Devizes in 2021, providing over 50 hot takeaway meals, as well as clothing and support for the homeless and vulnerable adults in our local area.
Devizes Opendoors are always looking for new volunteers to help the homeless, particularly ‘Befrienders’. More details can be found in the following link http://devizesopendoors.org.uk/index.php/volunteers/be-a-befriender. Please do contact Richard Hay, Associate – email@example.com – if you are able to help and he will put you in touch with the charity.
The charity needs to raise £25,000 annually to be able to run. It receives no statutory funding and relies predominantly on grants, donations and fundraising. This year, David Owen raised around 10% of the charity’s operating costs. Please do let Richard know if you or your organisation are able to help in 2021.
The charity is also currently looking for more suitable premises in Devizes for 2021. If, once the premises are found, anyone would be willing to donate their time or skills, for example, carpenters, electricians, decorators, to get the property up and running, the charity would be extremely grateful. Again, please do contact Richard if you feel you are able to help.
Thank you for supporting our chosen charity in 2020/21.
The Team at David Owen.