Friday November 11th 2016

Sheffield launches Help us Help

Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield supports the launch of Help us Help.

Help us Help is a campaign to support those who are begging on our city centre streets. People find themselves on the street for many reasons, including simply bad luck – this means that their needs are varied and complex. Help us Help is a collaboration between all the services and charities in the city who are there to provide practical support and compassionate care and advice. Many of those begging or homeless in the city centre are known to the services who work with them on an individual basis to provide accommodation, food and medical care and to link them to the ongoing support they need to help them off the streets. Help us Help is for people who want to directly help and to encourage volunteering and donations.

Paul Blomfield MP: “The increase in homelessness and rough sleeping was an issue that came up repeatedly during my recent community consultation. People often feel unsure about the best way to help those on the streets, so I’m really pleased this campaign is being launched. Help us to Help will empower people to take positive action to transform the lives of vulnerable and marginalised people in our city”

Tim Renshaw, CEO of the Cathedral Archer Project said: “This campaign is positive about the fact that people should give and should not be criticised for giving. It aims to give people choices through providing access to information, as giving achieves most when it is informed giving. An important aspect of Help us Help is its collaborative nature. This isn’t about making the city centre look better, nor a leading retailer saying ‘not outside my front door’ and it isn’t the police on a criminal justice drive. It is charities, local residents, as well as businesses, local police officers, ambassadors and the City Council; all of us primarily driven by the fact that we want people to live better, more fulfilling lives. We want to change the life of the person we walk past, not just the place where they beg. The website will offer us the chance to share but we need people to use it.”

The Chair of Sheffield Business Improvement District (BID) Suzy Brain England said: “This is an excellent opportunity for key organisations across Sheffield to work in true partnership for the benefit of everyone in our city centre. ‘Together’ is the name of one of our five key programmes of work as an organisation, and this campaign is a great example of seeing words put into action for the benefit of whole communities.”

Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Jayne Dunn; “I am responsible for the Council’s services for the homeless and the vulnerable in our city. We have a well-established pathway for homelessness services. I have personal experience of being evicted and was lucky to be given social housing that saved me. The need is often more than just a home, it’s the wrap around support that is required so an individual can maintain their tenancy and be integrated into their community. We have a wealth of experienced charities who have these skills and are proven to deliver positive results for those on the street. Help us Help will enable the public to understand more and hopefully will motivate them to volunteer or donate to our charities and voluntary services.”

Help us Help has prepared information material for businesses and the public that also signposts them to a website where there are lists of services they can contact on behalf of someone they want to help, as well as providing them with information on the situation in Sheffield city centre. The campaign has also put together a series of short films so people can learn first-hand about what it feels like to be on the streets from services and charities who have worked in this area for many years and from community representatives.

The Help us Help campaign is being funded by Sheffield City Council, Sheffield BID and the charities and organisations who support people on the street.

Pictured from the left: Suzy Brain England (chair of Sheffield BID), Paul Blomfield MP, Tim Renshaw (CEO of Archer Project), Bobbie Walker (Street Pastor), Thomas Walker (Amy Winehouse Foundation)

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