A White Christmas is not on Doorway’s Wish List
Doorway, the Wiltshire charity providing open access drop-in sessions for homeless and marginalised adults in Chippenham, is highlighting the existence of homelessness within the county during the recent bitterly cold weather.
Lisa Lewis, Chief Executive said: “Snow and frost is very pretty and festive in the run up to Christmas but we need to remember that there are still people sleeping rough in these freezing conditions.”
Doorway’s wish list for the festive season also includes greater financial support for the organisation at a critical time for both the charity and our local community.
Doorway’s new Chair of Directors, Simon Tatton-Brown said: “Two years after the ‘credit crunch’ we need this support more than ever. The needs of the homeless have not gone away; indeed we anticipate they will become more severe following the Government’s welfare reforms and spending cuts. There is already more competition for funding at a time when grant-making bodies have fewer funds at their disposal.
“Doorway needs a lot of help to cover our extensive core costs including premises hire, food and utility bills and the day to day costs of good governance.”
Doorway spent the last seven months reorganising, following the dissolution of the former partnership with Develop and The Salvation Army. During this period we recruited a new board of Directors; registered with Companies House and the Charity Commission; and on December 1st 2010, formally took over responsibility for the newly independent organisation. Unfortunately, this has come at a price.
Lisa Lewis said: “We were unable to concentrate on fundraising during a period of transition. Whilst we now have sufficient ‘reserved’ funding for our extra activities such as football, music workshops, community gardening project etc, we are facing the very serious prospect of closing our service at the end of February due to a lack of unreserved funding for core costs.”
250 ‘guests’ a year rely on the essential support service provided by Doorway. Every single person has a history and a reason for attending the drop-in sessions at the Salvation Army Hall.
The Doorway guests include rough sleepers, ‘sofa-surfers’ (ie staying on family or friends’ sofas or floors) and people who have tenancies but don’t always have the ability to maintain those tenancies and therefore face a potential eviction.
Top of the Doorway wish list this Christmas is that the doors will remain open and that we can continue to provide an extremely successful and essential support service to those in most need throughout the winter months and beyond.
For more information regarding the work of Doorway or how you can help us during these desperate times please email ; telephone 01249 445385 or visit our website at http://www.doorwayproject.org.uk