We’re delighted to report that donations to our Surviving Winter appeal are helping a number of local rough sleepers off the streets and into long-term accommodation, making a real difference to their futures.

The Surviving Winter appeal tackles winter poverty and isolation in Norfolk by providing essential support to some of the most vulnerable in our community. The aim is not to just to help prevent crisis, but also to help people plan ahead and find their way to a more positive future in the long term.

Norwich homelessness charity St Martins provides housing, support and care to some of the most vulnerable in our society. Funds raised from the Surviving Winter appeal have enabled the charity to provide emergency respite accommodation to rough sleepers in local lodgings and bed and breakfasts.

These ‘street breaks’ can literally help to keep people alive in winter weather, but also give rough sleepers essential respite from the harsh reality of their daily lives on the streets. This particularly helps couples who are unable to access support services only available to single people, or those who are waiting for a hostel place to become available to safeguard them from the streets. These street breaks have already been successful in getting several people off the streets long-term this winter.

How two rough sleepers are now living in their own homes

A street break has made a world of difference to R*, a local man in his fifties who had been sleeping rough for many months. He has been living in lodgings since November and during this period of stability, his life has been turned around. He receives regular support and now has a settled and steady lifestyle. He has also managed to find some casual work. The Street Break turned into a longer stay for R, which is what he needed. He is now moving from the lodgings straight into a property in Norwich, which will be his long term home.

C* is mentally unwell and has a health condition. He was sleeping rough near Chapelfield early in January when the team first encountered him. He had no sense of routine and day-to-day life was very chaotic. C was offered a Street Break in B&B accommodation in Norwich for a week and during this time he was helped to contact his local authority and sort his paperwork out. This enabled him to move into temporary accommodation, which has now led to him successfully moving into his own long-term home provided by his local authority.

How can you help?

The Surviving Winter appeal needs urgent help to continue to support those who find themselves rough sleeping this winter. Every penny donated will go directly to local charities to enable them to provide essential help to some of the most vulnerable people in Norfolk from right now, through to spring.

Donate online or alternatively please make your cheque payable to Norfolk Community Foundation (referencing Surviving Winter) and send it to Norfolk Community Foundation, St. James Mill, Whitefriars, Norwich, NR3 1TN, or telephone the Foundation on 01603 623958.

Every donation, no matter how small, will make a difference.