A review of last year...

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This week saw us publish our brand new Annual Report that covers April 2018 -March 2019.

We hope you might like to take a look at how we have been developing, and the whole report can be read here.

We are incredibly proud of our clients, our volunteers and our team and very grateful to everyone that supported us last year.

Key highlights for us include:

92% of the 154 clients we housed last year are still safely housed

43 of our clients are now in work

192 evictions were prevented

We look forward to more good news stories in the year ahead!

Breaking the 'cycle' of homelessness

One of our staff members at Rentstart, Patrick, made one of our clients very happy this week as he managed to source her a bike. He did this by teaming up with the fantastic Walton Bike Project.

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Walton Bike Project take public donations of old or unwanted bikes are up-cycled to provide cycle maintenance skills, training and work experience for local job seekers and young people who will be taught how to refurbish these bikes. These good quality second hand bikes are then sold to the local community at affordable prices.

Thank you Walton Bike Project for putting on a new saddle, gifting a helmet and a bike padlock. All for free for our client.

It’s great when we can help people with practical things like this that will make such a big difference in their lives. This is one of our favourite examples lately of how we’ve been able to do that.

"Turned my life around"

This week we helped to support a client into a new home in the private rented sector. Our client had been sleeping on sofas at friends’ places whenever they could, and on the worst nights sleeping rough.

It’s always amazing when we see people housed.

It’s always touching to see how much it means to people to receive support.

_Thank you so much for helping me find accommodation. After sofa surfing and sleeping rough for the last few months I was at rock bottom and this has turned my life around. I’m truly grateful._.png

These were the words of our client. It feels like a new beginning and this is exactly why we’re doing what we’re doing at Rentstart.

Working together to end homelessness.

"On course" this week!

An area of our work that we’ve been focusing on recently is how we support our 18-30 year old clients. Berkeley Homes have generously funded this work and we are now providing a variety of different sessions from one to one coaching, through to tenancy support and employability skills sessions. These have always been aspects of our work, but we’ve found a new freedom to think about the best was to make this work well for our younger clients.

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 This week we've been taking people through Level 2 Food Hygiene courses. A simple, practical thing. We set up laptops in our meeting room, laid out some tea and biscuits and went through this online course. There are a number of barriers as to why our clients wouldn’t take on this type of course by themselves. Firstly, even the proactive thought that a qualification like this may be helpful is something that doesn’t necessarily strike you when you’ve been grappling with homelessness. Then there’re the obvious financial reasons and just having the motivation to get through something like an educational course. So we took this on as a group, and paid the course fees to enable our clients to achieve this accreditation.

 It’s great to see people take responsibility to continuously develop themselves. We’ll be working on other ideas and if you have any good ones please do let us know!