Truly Inspired Charity Expanding More And More

Inspire Communities charity creator Dave Edeson has more plans to expand on their operation for the good of the people of Hull.

Mr Edeson started the charity five years ago as a community project which was subsequently granted charity status in 2013 and now helps people with all different issues such as homelessness, disability, unemployment, benefit sanctions and depression.

This truly inspirational man sits in the cafe he opened in October 2015 to raise funds for the charity and, with a glint in his eye, says: “We’re here for everyone who has some sort of issue or facing any sort of crisis.

“We help people to engage and move on in life with a renewed sense of purpose and provide different sorts of help.”

The charity has recently started running a Job Club every Thursday morning at Dock House home of fellow charity HULLHARP and also run a job club at The Crossings hostel as well as having a daily job club at their George Street building.

Mr Edeson continues: “Somebody may get their benefits sanctioned because they have low social confidence or may lack the confidence to explain that they struggle with reading and writing or computers.

“Sometimes they can become frustrated because they may not be able to articulate their job seeking activities very well verbally or in written form.

“If they can’t use a computer very well then there will be a lack of online applications. A combination of this missing information at a signing on appointment can be frustrating for both job seeker and advisor.”

The charity are trying to create a hub where people can go for all sorts of help, they have Citizen’s Advice Quids In service in on a Wednesday and Thursday which patrons need to book an appointment for and Renew are there on Monday afternoons and Tuesday mornings to help people with alcohol and/or substance misuse issues.

There is also a Carer’s Group which started off as a peer support and activity group for carers, it was originally intended to be a chance for carers to give each other advice and support, but importantly, to provide activities and new friendships that will give them something to look forward to engaging in each week, as a period of respite in their difficult lives.

Mr Edeson says: “Sometimes a carer won’t engage in activities because they feel they can’t leave the person they care for at home. With this in mind, we have now built upon the project by employing two sessional workers, to provide activities for both the carer and the person they care for.

The charity is also providing Health and Well Being sessions including relaxation and breathing exercises, Yoga and are soon starting up First Aid Training with the Red Cross. They also run an Expert Patient Programme when the need is there.

This part of the charity is run by two amazing ladies who are already carer’s themselves Lynda Huckvale and Amy Hutson who work on the first floor directly above the cafe.

Another floor up and you walk into the computer room where the job club takes place from 9.30am to 4pm Monday to Friday.

They also have an Outreach service to help people with computer training and this truly outstanding charity doesn’t stop there. They also help people with things like staying healthy, registering with a doctor, sorting out benefits issues and shopping on a budget.

They also want to provide a teaching kitchen and help with social/community groups and already provide work experience.

Speaking about the thoroughly relaxed but buzzing cafe Mr Edeson says: “We started it because we don’t want to always be applying for this and that funding, we want to make our own money to fund ourselves.”

Also working extremely hard for the charity are Carla Marsh, who also volunteers for a local soup kitchen, and Joanna Czyzyk. These tireless ladies can be seen buzzing around the cafe adding to the fabulous atmosphere that prevails within and one can only sense that, with people like these working there, the people of Hull suffering from poverty, deprivation and all manner of other issues have not just a shining light, but a massive bright beacon that could even resemble a supernova at the end of George Street.

New Word Resolutions- Review

Hull poet Dave Mahoney organised an evening of fantastic entertainment as many of the City of Culture’s multi-talented came together for New Word Resolutions at O’Rileys on Beverley Road to raise money for homeless charities Hull Homeless and Rootless Project (HULLHARP) and Hull Homeless Outreach.

Taking an idea that he only dreamed up on 23rd December the host brought together a remarkable amount of great talent that included Anarchy Dada, Rich Sharp Wilson, Andy Woolston and Vicky Foster just in the first section.

The second section saw the parade of talent continued by Jack Gleadow, Richard Harries, Right On Cue and the host himself with his unique brand of poetry before the third section brought Gavin Clark, Rob Eunson, Jed Salisbury and Rest Less Wild to the stage.

The evening which had a who’s who of major talent on stage was also attended by local celebrities including Ensemble 52 playwright Dave Windass and poet and Away With Words host Jim Higo.

With collection tins passed round the audience were being quite generous and O’Rileys pledged 10% of the bar takings from the night to the two charities who work all year round with Hull’s homeless supplying, food, drink, clothing, sleeping bags and support services.

Mr Mahoney said: “This was only dreamed up on 23rd December so to get all this talent together in that time is amazing.

“I only meant this to be a one-off event but it’s been such a success I think we will be doing it again in the near future.”

The evening was an evening of outstanding talent and obviously massively important to the two charities and the people who live on our streets, sleeping wherever they can and relying on the kindness of strangers

Hopefully more evenings like this absolute treat will be forthcoming very soon so everybody can be fabulously entertained and the homeless of Hull can benefit further. #NWR


Another Day In The Life Of Hull Harp

Today was all about Dock House, we had the usual Breakfast Club with much the same faces as I’ve already seen there this week, then we had to set about doing many other jobs.

Some of the jobs were the usual jobs like cleaning up the kitchen and washing the pots from the Breakfast Club, however there were also other jobs that needed doing which made it a very full-on day.

After we had washed up, cleaned, wiped down, swept and mopped we had to start upstairs as Michele’s office had to be re-arranged in her absence and then a filing cabinet had to be moved from the Outreach Team office to her’s.

Then we had to remove dozens of Pot Noodle’s from the Outreach Team office down to the kitchen because they need to be used sooner rather than later.

After that we had to take a few chairs out of a downstairs store room and put them out the back of the building because they are useless anyway and we needed to create room in there. Then we had the devil of a job of moving a filing cabinet from, you guessed it, the Outreach Team office, to the downstairs store room.

The problem with moving the filing cabinet downstairs is that you have to get it round two very tight corners on the way down, Dave was helping as ever, so was Diane who is one of the Outreach Team, Ash was trying to help carry it down but on such a narrow staircase it was impossible for him to get close enough.

Eventually we made it down the stairs and dragged the cabinet to the store room. During the clear out in the Outreach Team office Diane found some old photos of Dock House. One of the photos shows it in its original guise before it became a shelter, others show bunk-beds in the rooms and one photo we think shows possibly an outreach worker maybe in an old derelict building looking for rough sleepers to help.

During the course of the day we’ve also found some information about the history of Hull Harp.

Hull Homeless and Rootless Project was born on the streets of Hull in 1982 offering soup and bread, information and advice, the soup was organised by the Sisters of Mercy from Endsleigh Convent, in response to the growing number of rough sleepers in Hull.

In 1984 a building was obtained which offered limited day facilities like professional information and advice, access to other professional agencies, meals, washing/bathing and laundry service from 1pm to 6.30pm.

After the death of a rough sleeper in 1988 a local company donated a portable cabin to the project for people to shelter in at night and four years later a direct access night shelter was opened with 10 beds in five rooms, services available then were basic support, meals, clothing and an information and advice service.

The night shelter was opened from 10 o clock at night until 8 o clock in the morning and service users were offered a light supper, TV, washing/bathing, laundry services and breakfast, the day centre also continued to operate.

Due to different medical needs of service users in 1995 Hull Harp strengthened working relationships with various professional agencies like the Community Mental Health Team, Alcohol Advisory Service, Council for Drug Problems, Social Services, Youth Services and Health Services, all of which used a Service User Counselling/Interview room. There was also a close relationship with Probation and the Police.

Then in 1997 the Night Shelter was extended thanks to a £250,000 investment to provide 19 beds each night for both men and women, three years after this provision was extended to make Hull Harp a 365 day, 24 hour facility.

Hull Harp experienced some changes and difficulties with funding. Staff training was given, clearer policies and a more focused provision of staff resource were created to help service users gain access to a wide range of services and for Hull Harp to extend their overall services.

The implementation of Supporting People strategy changed how Hull Harp recorded information and now showed the cost effectiveness. Services at this time now included the Day Centre services and leisure activities (discussions around drug misuse, harm minimisation, basics in numeracy and literacy, living skills, physical and mental health services, leisure activities and art classes), furniture service, food parcels, outreach support and a system for volunteering.

Bed space was increased to 21 beds in 2002 and services included Night Shelter, Day Centre, Free Lunch, a small evening meal, food parcels, activities, laundry facilities, bathing facilities, mental health support, support and advice, a volunteer program, access to other professional agencies, alcohol and substance misuse and drug awareness information and advice. Hull Harp also introduced a policy on Dogs at the project using the National Canine Defence League guidelines for hostels.

In 2003 Hull Harp appointed a new Chief Officer and the Management Committee (Trustees) reorganised. The services remained the same and Supporting People Funding began.

Hull Harp restructured in 2005 to provide 24 hour service to Service Users. New staff were appointed and trained to deliver the 24/7 Service User support services. Two Resettlement Worker posts provide one-to-one key working, Administration Assistant, Domestic and Caretaker posts all provide the essential operational support to ensure that the project runs smoothly and that the environment is clean and safe.

Hull Harp then received Supporting People Certificate of Accreditation in 2006 and, a year later, secured a three year Supporting People contract to run from April 2007 to March 2010. A new Chief Officer was appointed with a remit to prepare the organisation for the Supporting People tendering process that would award future contracts.

Hull Harp launched an Outreach Service and a Rough Sleeper Outreach Worker was appointed to establish contact with those sleeping rough and to engage them with appropriate services at Hull Harp or elsewhere.

Hull Homeless and Rootless Project ceased to exist and the new entity called HULLHARP began in April 2009 and is now a charity Limited by Guarantee. It has a three person management team.

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