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Published: Wednesday, 22nd July 2020

Our direct access hostel for the homeless has been awarded a grant through the Tesco ‘Bags of Help’ scheme.

Staff from William Wallsgrove House with Cllr Jan Matecki at the hostel

Throughout the lockdown, William Wallsgrove House in Leamington Spa has remained open providing round the clock accommodation and care to the most vulnerable in our society. It’s been a challenging time for the ten strong team and around 11 residents who due to health and safety restrictions were mostly confined to their rooms with little access to the regular external support services normally provided at the hostel such as counselling and health checks.

On witnessing the detrimental effect that the emergency situation was having on those staying at William Wallsgrove, Assistant Manager Ayyaz Ahmed made an application to the Tesco ‘Bags of Help’ fund to in the hope of being able to provide residents with materials and equipment for a number of activities including gardening, cooking, hairdressing and arts and crafts;

Ayyaz commented;

“We have found that under the lockdown residents' mental health has suffered.  As restrictions are slowly lifted, we would like to offer a range of activities to help their well-being and support them with some sort of normalisation and routine in their lives. We’re very pleased to receive the full grant of £500 from Tesco which will help us to get a number of practical initiatives off the ground such as a seeds and plants for our communal garden, pots and pans for our cookery sessions, hair clippers and dryers for our homeless hair salon and paper, paint and craft materials to encourage our budding artists”

Warwick District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing Services, Councillor Jan Matecki added;

“I’m extremely proud of the support we have continued to provide to individuals who seek refuge at William Wallsgrove House throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This scheme and the specialist care we provide will enable many of our clients to address their problems in a safe and secure environment. In time this can build their confidence, skills and independence which will enable them to turn their lives around.”

In the past eighteen months around 200 homeless and rough sleepers have been helped by the Council’s service at William Wallsgrove House. Many of these people have since gone on to find permanent accommodation, have reconnected with friends and family or have undergone rehabilitation programmes.

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