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Helm Housing has joined forces with two of its maintenance contractors, H&J Martin and Fusion Heating to help tackle homelessness in Belfast.
Helm staff were motivated to raise money for charities who support those living on the streets of Belfast following the loss of four lives in Belfast since the beginning of this year. While Helm organised a number of fundraising events and initiatives, two of their suppliers soon joined in to help boost their efforts and a total of £3,000 was raised.Speaking as the money was handed over to two homeless charities John McPeake, interim Chief Executive at Helm Housing said: We were really moved by the tragic events that occurred on our streets over the last few months and wanted to do whatever we could to help. We asked our team for suggestions and both the Welcome Organisation and Fed & Warm were chosen as the beneficiaries of our fundraising which we raised through a pie fest, dress down Fridays and charitable donations from staff wages in the month of March. We also asked our contractors, H&J Martin and Fusion, to contribute to the cause and they were more than generous. All funds we raised through our events were matched by both companies and we are extremely thankful to them for their support.As a social housing provider we understand the severity of homelessness in our city and are active in helping those who are homeless. Anyone can be just two pay cheques away from living on the street so it is important to show empathy for those who find themselves in that situation. We commend the work that our local charities, including the Welcome Organisation and Fed & Warm, do in providing support for those most vulnerable and were delighted to be able to help in this small way.Both charities were delighted to receive the much needed funds. Ashleigh Hunter from the Welcome Organisation said: The Welcome is funded primarily by the Housing Executives Supporting People Programme, which we are very grateful for. However, we rely on donations like this to fund essentials like our food and sleeping bags. We thank Helm, H&J Martin and Fusion for their generosity. Last year we spent thousands on sleeping bags alone, which shows just how vital these funds are in maintaining our support for those people rough sleeping on our streets. The Welcome Organisation genuinely could not survive without this type of support.Kevin Patterson who is a Trustee at Fed and Warm added: This donation will go a long way in providing food, warm clothing, toiletries and other essential supplies for those we often meet on the streets of Belfast. Our work involves addressing need for those who are currently living on the streets, while also working on a long-term solution and assisting in resettlement. This would not be possible without fundraising efforts like this.'