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East Midlands businesses raise funds for homelessness charity

Created on Wednesday, March 25th, 2015
by Kathryn Shaw

Derby-based housing provider Derwent Living has been raising funds for local charitable organisation Derventio Housing Trust, which helps homeless and vulnerable people. Teaming up with social housing procurement organisation Efficiency East Midlands (EEM), the Dancing Duck Brewery and aero-engine manufacturer Rolls Royce, Derwent Living has raised over £800 from various recent events.

The money will help fund projects such as Growing Lives, an initiative that aims to help homeless people gain new skills, while improving their physical and mental wellbeing.

Housing bosses Peter McCormack, Derwent Living’s chief executive, and Sarah Hernandez, the managing director and founding Board Member of Derventio Housing Trust, met recently at Derventio’s Orchard Works in Ilkeston. They talked with tenants about day-to-day housing challenges and their involvement in the Growing Lives project.

The Growing Lives project aims to help homeless people gain new skills

The Growing Lives project aims to help homeless people gain new skills

Denise Bowles, a Derventio volunteer (pictured), said of the project: “I liked [the idea] so much that I’m now a volunteer at the farm and I have already made some friends there. I think Derventio has given me opportunities that I wouldn’t otherwise have had.”

Peter McCormack said: “Derwent Living and Derventio Housing Trust are natural allies within the social housing sector, but as Derventio deal directly with homeless and vulnerably housed people, they’re ideally placed to give maximum benefit where it counts to those without a roof over their heads. As a result, we’re very pleased to be able to help with fundraising opportunities. It’s important to remember that both our organisations exist to provide safe housing for those who need it the most. ”

The two housing chiefs then discussed potential future collaborations between their two organisations.

Sarah Hernandez commented: “We are thrilled that Derwent Living has chosen to fundraise for us. Their donation will help us to offer an exciting range of skill-building and learning opportunities for homeless people – from cooking to urban gardening – and will have a real impact on the lives of local people. I want to thank Peter McCormack and everyone at Derwent Living for their wonderful support, and I look forward to working together in the future.”

The challenges faced by housing organisations from welfare reform and budget reductions are being exacerbated by a national housing shortage. Earlier this month the housing and construction sectors stood together in Westminster at the Homes for Britain rally, to call an end to the housing crisis within a generation.

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