The city’s Safer Off the Streets partnership is celebrating this week after winning a regional award at the Love Britain and Ireland Awards, organised by Premier Christian Radio.
The partnership, which scooped the ‘Best Start-Up’ category, helps on average two rough sleepers to leave the streets a month since it began in October last year and has raised a whopping £8,000 for charity.
Agencies involved in the Safer Off the Streets partnership, include: The Light Project Peterborough, Hope Into Action, Peterborough City Council, Street Pastors, Peterborough Food Bank, YMCA, Safer Peterborough, Citizens Advice Peterborough, The Salvation Army, Veterans for the Homeless, Love & Humanity Peterborough, Kingsgate Community Church, Axiom, Children of Adam and the Peterborough Soup Kitchen.
Residents who want to pledge their help to rough sleepers in the city are asked to donate money either online, via the contactless card reader in St Peter’s Arcade, or at the cash collection boxes at the Town Hall reception and Visitor Information Centre. The money goes towards the running of the Garden House in the cathedral grounds, which is run by the Light Project Peterborough.
Christine Graham, chair of the Safer Off the Streets partnership, said: "This award is testament to what can be achieved in just a few months when organisations in Peterborough work together for the greater good. We are delighted to have won and are looking forward to the national awards in the autumn."
Councillor John Holdich, leader of Peterborough City Council, which is one of the Safer Off the Streets partner organisations, said: "I’d like to say a massive well done to all those involved in the Safer Off the Streets partnership and to the Light Project Peterborough, Hope Into Action and the Care Zone at Kingsgate for their efforts over the past nine months."
Three of the Safer Off the Streets partners also won awards during the evening. These included:
- The Light Project Peterborough - winner of the 'Community Building' category - The Light Project Peterborough is a registered charity which runs the Garden House in the cathedral grounds and does a fantastic job of creating a welcoming environment for rough sleepers thanks to its kindhearted volunteers. The charity also runs the Winter Night Shelter in Peterborough in which churches across the city open their doors to provide rough sleepers with a warm bed to sleep in during the winter months.
- Hope Into Action - winner of the 'Social Action' category - Hope into Action is a registered charity whose unique purpose is to enable churches to house the homeless. It provides direct support to people whom others have often given up on. The original home had a real heart for men coming out of prison, however, homes are now available for a wide range of homeless people in recovery from addiction, people sleeping rough, women and children fleeing domestic violence, people coming out of rehab, former prostitutes, refugees, those suffering mental health issues and survivors of human trafficking. In Peterborough it has 17 homes for the homeless and across the country 70 homes.
- Care Zone within Kingsgate Community Church - winner of the 'Social Justice' category - Care Zone began back in 2000 with a group of people from Kingsgate Community Church who saw a need in the community and wanted to make a difference. Over the years, Care Zone has grown from strength to strength and served thousands of people in the community.
Find out more about the Safer Off the Streets partnership.
There are three ways to donate money to the partnership:
- Online via the website
- Via the Contactless Card Reader in St Peter's Arcade
- Cash donation boxes at Town Hall reception and the Visitor Information Centre in Bridge Street