Deaths of homeless people in England and Wales

Nearly 600 homeless people died on the streets or in temporary accommodation in England and Wales in 2017, up 24% in five years, according to the first government figures on the issue.

After a slight drop in 2013, deaths have risen every year since, from 475 in 2014 to 597 last year, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show. The average age of a rough sleeper at death was 44 years for men and 42 years for women. Men made up 84% of homeless deaths.

London and the north-west had the highest mortality of homeless people in England and Wales. More than half of the deaths in 2017 were caused by drug poisoning, suicide or alcohol abuse. No figures were calculated for 2018.

On Wednesday a homeless man became the second rough sleeper to die outside parliament this year after he collapsed in a stairwell.

The figures, which are estimates, were calculated by checking death registrations in England and Wales for indications that a person was homeless at or near their time of death. ONS researchers searched for terms such as “no fixed abode” in records, also checking whether the address included in the death registration belonged to a night shelter or a hostel.

The north-west, including cities such as Manchester and Liverpool, experienced the largest increase in homeless deaths, more than doubling in five years, from 55 in 2013 to 119 in 2017.

Fatalities in the north-east and Yorkshire have risen by 71% and 58% respectively since 2013.

The ONS findings show a pattern of deaths among homeless people which is strikingly different from the general population. For example, the causes of deaths recorded provide an insight into the circumstances around people who die while having no home. It is already known that homeless people can have complex health and personal histories, as well as being exposed to high levels of risk and difficulty obtaining good quality medical care.

In October the government pledged that local authorities would hold serious case reviews to investigate all homeless deaths, but it has not provided any funding or support for this work.

More than 24,000 people in Britain will spend this Christmas sleeping rough or in cars, trains, buses or tents, according to figures by the homelessness charity Crisis.

On Tuesday the communities secretary, James Brokenshire, said government policy was not responsible for the rise in rough sleeping. Official figures show it has increased by 169% since 2010, but the true number is believed to be much higher.  Instead, Brokenshire blamed the spread of psychoactive drugs such as spice, a rise in non-UK nationals on the streets, and family breakdown.

Ben Humberstone, the ONS’s head of health and life events, said:

“Every year hundreds of people die while homeless. These are some of the most vulnerable members of our society so it was vital that we produced estimates of sufficient quality to properly shine a light on this critical issue. Today we have been able to do just that.

“Our findings show a pattern of deaths among homeless people that is strikingly different from the general population. For example, homeless people tend to die younger and from different causes. The average age of death last year was 44 years, with 84% of all deaths being men. More than half were related to drug poisoning, suicide or alcohol – causes that made up only 3% of overall deaths last year.”

Martin Tett, the Local Government Association’s housing spokesman, said all homeless deaths were preventable, but he said supporting people at risk of homelessness was becoming increasingly difficult for councils because of lack of funding:

“Proper resourcing of local government funding is essential if we are going to end rising homelessness. Councils also need to keep 100% of the receipts of any homes they sell to replace them and reinvest in building more of the genuinely affordable homes they desperately need and the ability to adapt welfare reforms to prevent people from losing their home where possible”.

Brokenshire said on Thursday the figures would help the government in its “mission to end rough sleeping for good”.

“No one is meant to spend their lives on the streets or without a home to call their own. Every death on our streets is too many and it is simply unacceptable to see lives cut short this way.”

“To stop people from becoming homeless in the first place, we’ve changed the law to require councils to provide early support for those at risk of being left with nowhere left to go, are boosting access to affordable housing and making renting more secure.”

ONS Publications

Data

Christmas feel good story

In 2013 a teenager collected hundreds of supermarket vouchers to buy £600 worth of shopping for 4p so he could give the food to families:

Jordon Cox, 16, scoured endless websites and magazines and gathered hundreds of coupons for dozens of products.  After spending hours each day searching the internet for coupons, he managed to collect 470, which he took to his local supermarket, and filled three trolleys with food and household items.  The bill came to £572.16, but once the coupons were factored in the bill was reduced to just 4p – a saving of 99.81 per cent.  The teenager, of Brentwood in Essex, donated all his food to the charity Doorstep which gives food to disadvantaged families.

He said:

“I read an article that said a thousandth of the UK population are unable to eat this Christmas because they don’t have any money.  I decided wanted to help as many people as I can, and to also show that it’s possible to shop very cheaply, if you know how.  It’s not an exact science, so you can never really work out ahead of time how much the total is going to be. I was stunned when it came up as just 4p.”

He started his Christmas shopping project on December 1 and scoured hundreds of in-store magazines and websites for money off and cash back coupons.  His shop, at Tesco Brent Cross, ended with an hour stop at the checkout to unload his items which included 200 packets of biscuits and 60 packs of butter.

He said:

“The lady at the checkout had worked at Tesco for 19 years, and she said she’d never seen anything like it before. I had a big crowd. I felt like a celebrity.  My heart was pounding and the adrenaline was pumping when we got to the till. So much could have gone wrong.  I could have left some coupons at home, or not read the terms and conditions properly. Some of them might have expired too.”

Vicky Fox, who works at Doorstep, said families who he had helped out were overwhelmed by the donation. She said:

“I’d call his gift a great and generous act of a young man and what he did made a real difference.  He’s made a really difference to families who work with us to survive on extremely low incomes and do need the help.  He made such a different to people living on the breadline.”

He bought:

  • 20 packs of frozen Yorkshire puddings
  • 20 jam roly polys
  • 80 packs of butter
  • 23 packs of Quorn mince
  • Four Gressingham poussin.
  • 40 black puddings
  • 200 packets of biscuits
  • 23 blocks of hard cheese
  • 20 pots of Yeo Valley organic yoghurt
  • 19 bottles of fruit juice.
  • 10 boxes of Paxo stuffing
  • 40 bottles of Anchor whipped cream
  • 15 bags of frozen Brussels sprouts
  • 4 packs of After Eight mints
  • 15 Covent Garden Soups.
  • 10 bags of Florette Salad
  • 36 packs of Cauldron tofu, vegetarian sausages and falafel
  • Crumble mix
  • Haribo sweets

Community Christmas Meals

Communities are being encouraged to provide companionship to older people on Christmas Day by running a community Christmas Lunch event, joining up with others at a local pub or restaurant, popping round for tea and cake, perhaps organizing a film viewing or anything else that can be enjoyed by all those that take part. This should be a chance to meet up with old friends and make new friends creating bonds in the community that last well beyond the single day.

If you have elderly or older clients or anyone needing somewhere to go for a Christmas Meal they can put their post code into this website and it will bring up all the options in their area. Some even include transport!

If you cannot find your area, keep checking as the site is being updated regularly. And of course if you know of a scheme that isn’t already on the site this is a great place to add it.

Youth Ministry and Church News from around the world

News from around the world of youth ministry and the Church:

 

 

Youth work and social care news from around the world

Links from around the world of youth work and social care:

Youth work and social care news from around the world

Links from around the world of youth work and social care:

Digital Skills training from Media Trust. Interested?

Did you know…

  • more than 70% of charities believe strengthening their digital skills would help their organisation to grow its network and deliver a more effective strategy

but despite this…

  • 45% of charities don’t have a digital strategy

That’s why Media Trust are offering FREE digital skills training for charities and community groups.

The half-day masterclasses, with support from Google Digital Garage, will cover a range of topics from Social Media Strategy to Building a Digital Marketing Plan.

At these events, attendees will have the opportunity to discuss their specific digital communications challenges with, and receive advice from, a range of media partners and communications experts, learn from other charities as well as receiving digital skills training from a team of Google mentors. You can find out more about the programme via the Media Trust website

Media Trust are offering free digital skills training for groups of 25 or more. Action Hampshire is looking to gather expressions of interest from staff, volunteers and trustees in local charities. If you are interested in taking part in this training, please email them at info@actionhampshire.org

State of the Voluntary Sector in Hampshire

State of the Voluntary Sector in Hampshire

Action Hampshire, with the support of the district CVSs, recently carried out some research into the state of the voluntary sector in Hampshire.

An on-line survey was circulated around Hampshire’s voluntary and community sector organisations in November/December 2017. A range of questions were posed, most of which were asked in relation to the organisation’s position 3 years ago.

478 responses were received commenting on areas including capacity to deliver services, financial security, volunteering and planning for the future. Some of the key findings highlighted issues on the increase in demand for services and areas that organisations are struggling with.

Demand
Over 60% of respondents reported that demand for their services has increased over the past 3 years, but many also report that the type of demand has changed. As other services close, there is nowhere to refer clients on to:

“Clients are more likely to have multiple issues, and as other support services have decreased we often cannot refer them for other support and therefore work holistically.”

What are organisations struggling with?
Organisations continue to struggle with a range of subjects and issues: volunteers (recruiting, retaining and managing), marketing, and gaining funds (specifically earning fees, bid writing, and tendering & procurement).

“It has become much harder to generate revenue. Even our fund raising events are getting fewer people.”

Very few respondents said that they were likely to be helping their beneficiaries less in a year’s time. A worrying 22% of respondents felt that they either had ‘no idea’ where they would be in a year’s time, or were unsure if they would still exist in a year’s time.

What does this mean for the future of Hampshire’s voluntary sector organisations?

You can download the summary and full report here:

National Cyber Security Centre produces guide for small charities

The NCSC has published advice to help charities to protect themselves from the most common cyber attacks.

The guide covers 5 topics:

  • backing up your data
  • protecting your charity from malware
  • keeping your smartphones and tablets safe
  • using passwords to protect your data
  • avoiding phishing attacks

The guide is easy to understand and its recommendations cost little (or nothing) to implement.

Click here to visit the NCSC website to download the guide.

How to get the most out of your local park

ParkLives is a free and easy way for you to get the best out of your local park. In fact, it’s much more than just a walk in the park – you’ll find a whole host of activities from tai chi to donkey grooming!

They’ve made it super-easy for you to take part and all of their activities take place in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere. This isn’t about breaking world records, they just want you to have fun.

So go check out their website, have a laugh and enjoy some brilliant days out with your family and friends.

Southampton City Funding Bulletin

Southampton City Council have relaunched their valuable Funding Bulletin to make it more user friendly, easier to navigate and to improve its appearance, whilst also fulfilling their obligations to the General Data Protection Regulation.

To sign up to get regular information on funding and grants available in Southampton and the surrounding area you will need to enter your e-mail address here and click ‘submit’. There are also a range of other topics to sign-up to, covering everything from City Events and Community News and Events to Culture Vulture and Waste and Recycling News.

Christmas feel good story

In 2013 a teenager collected hundreds of supermarket vouchers to buy £600 worth of shopping for 4p so he could give the food to families:

Jordon Cox, 16, scoured endless websites and magazines and gathered hundreds of coupons for dozens of products.  After spending hours each day searching the internet for coupons, he managed to collect 470, which he took to his local supermarket, and filled three trolleys with food and household items.  The bill came to £572.16, but once the coupons were factored in the bill was reduced to just 4p – a saving of 99.81 per cent.  The teenager, of Brentwood in Essex, donated all his food to the charity Doorstep which gives food to disadvantaged families.

He said:

“I read an article that said a thousandth of the UK population are unable to eat this Christmas because they don’t have any money.  I decided wanted to help as many people as I can, and to also show that it’s possible to shop very cheaply, if you know how.  It’s not an exact science, so you can never really work out ahead of time how much the total is going to be. I was stunned when it came up as just 4p.”

He started his Christmas shopping project on December 1 and scoured hundreds of in-store magazines and websites for money off and cash back coupons.  His shop, at Tesco Brent Cross, ended with an hour stop at the checkout to unload his items which included 200 packets of biscuits and 60 packs of butter.

He said:

“The lady at the checkout had worked at Tesco for 19 years, and she said she’d never seen anything like it before. I had a big crowd. I felt like a celebrity.  My heart was pounding and the adrenaline was pumping when we got to the till. So much could have gone wrong.  I could have left some coupons at home, or not read the terms and conditions properly. Some of them might have expired too.”

Vicky Fox, who works at Doorstep, said families who he had helped out were overwhelmed by the donation. She said:

“I’d call his gift a great and generous act of a young man and what he did made a real difference.  He’s made a really difference to families who work with us to survive on extremely low incomes and do need the help.  He made such a different to people living on the breadline.”

He bought:

  • 20 packs of frozen Yorkshire puddings
  • 20 jam roly polys
  • 80 packs of butter
  • 23 packs of Quorn mince
  • Four Gressingham poussin.
  • 40 black puddings
  • 200 packets of biscuits
  • 23 blocks of hard cheese
  • 20 pots of Yeo Valley organic yoghurt
  • 19 bottles of fruit juice.
  • 10 boxes of Paxo stuffing
  • 40 bottles of Anchor whipped cream
  • 15 bags of frozen Brussels sprouts
  • 4 packs of After Eight mints
  • 15 Covent Garden Soups.
  • 10 bags of Florette Salad
  • 36 packs of Cauldron tofu, vegetarian sausages and falafel
  • Crumble mix
  • Haribo sweets