Warwickshire homeless charity in need of a helping hand

A charity that supports homeless people in the Warwick district might have to put an end to one of its vital services if they cannot find a new home.

Friday, 10th March 2017, 8:23 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:11 am
The Helping Hands Team, pictured outside their present premises, at Stoneleigh Park. They have to move from them soon and are now looking for an alternative site, to operate the charity from and store the furniture they provide to people in need. NNL-170703-215659009

Helping Hands works with vulnerable and homeless people in the district by providing much-needed help through a soup kitchen and skills training so that those in need can move forward in their lives.

The charity also helps vulnerable people who have moved into a new home with their ‘House2Home’ service, which provides household items that the tenants could not afford to buy themselves.

Helping Hands currently has a two-storey building at Stoneleigh Park, which it uses to store all of the household donations it receives. The service originally started in 2013 in people’s garages and then moved to a hut on Warwick Racecourse but this was demolished two years ago, and the charity then moved to the business park.

Lianne Kirkman, Helping Hands manager, said: “We have had the unit gifted to us by Stoneleigh Park for a couple of years now and they have been amazing and we have been able to continue our work and grow it. We always knew it was going to be a temporary thing and we were told just before Christmas that the unit we use has been picked by a business.

“We were told that there were other options to move into another unit but last week we got the news that the one we were hoping to move into is going to be knocked down.”

The charity currently use the site to store beds, wardrobes, dishwashers, washing machines, clothes and toys and now they are appealing for help to try and find a new site.

Lianne said: “We help people who have come from homeless or domestic violence situations who don’t have the funds to pay for all the items in a home. Ideally we would like an empty building or warehouse - the bigger the better - but we could make it work if there is something smaller. As part of our work we teach an NVQ in warehousing skills and upcycling skills so if we get somewhere it would be more than storage but where people can learn new skills too.”

If the charity do not find somewhere they would likely have to stop their ‘House2Home’ service.

Lianne said: “The service is part of the work we do and it is volunteer work and day time work for people we support. We probably wouldn’t be able to do the service without a building and it would be a shame to stop the service.

“A lot of people ask us what they can do to help - for some people it is time, money or skills but if someone has an empty building this is how they can contribute to the local community and local people.

“I would like to say thank you to Stoneleigh Park and to Colin Hooper, the estates manager, for letting us use that site for free and to just pay the electric bills. It has been a lifeline for us but it has come to an end. I just hope there is another Colin Hooper around.”

To get in touch with Helping Hands call 01926 732118 or email [email protected]