THE head of a charity set up in Bridlington to aid rough sleepers and the homeless has issued a plea for volunteers to come forward and help ensure its future.
Chris Horton, chairman of the Kingfisher Trust, currently runs the charity with the help of local churches and a small team of dedicated volunteers.
The charity aims to help homeless people in Bridlington get off the streets and into sheltered accomodation, and also runs soup kitchens and drop in meetings along with local churches.
“We are the homeless charity without a home,” said Chris Horton, who also works as a homeless outreach worker at Hull Homeless and Rootless Project (HARP).
“We aim to try and help rough sleepers as much as we can, but at the moment we rely on a very small team of incredibly dedicated people who work very hard to be there for people who sleep rough in the town.
“Homelessness is a problem that hasn’t gone away in Bridlington, and as we head towards the summer months it is something that is only going to become more of problem as more people find themselves sleeping rough in the town.”
The trust will be holding an open day tomorrow, on Friday April 1, at Our Lady and St Peter’s Catholic Church between 4pm and 5pm, where they hope to attract those interested in volunteering before the trust’s annual general meeting on May 4.
It is also currently looking for a permanent home that it can use to provide sheltered accomodation to rough sleepers.
“We are hoping that people come along to the open day and take a look at what we do, and hopefully that they want to help us. We always welcome donations of food, sleeping bags and other items but we also need volunteers to help with the soup kitchens and meetings we hold.
“We are looking at a number of properties around the town and are in touch with the council and various bodies, but it is difficult to find funding as well as a suitable location.
“Premises with showers, somewhere to cook and internet access are what we would need.
“The soup kitchens we hold are vital and are a good way to try and pass on advice but our aim is to get people off the streets and to do that we need more volunteers and a permanent shelter.”
Soup kitchens are held weekly at Our Lady & St.Peters Catholic Church on Fridays from 4pm-5pm, at Emmanuel Church on Saturdays from 4pm-5pm and Christ Church on Sundays from 4pm-5pm.
Chris is also in talks with East Riding of Yorkshire Council over plans to extend the outreach work he currently does in Hull into the East Riding, which would see a dedicated service to assist the homeless in Bridlington.
East Riding Council confirmed that they had held positive meetings with Chris, but are yet to finalise details on exactly how the scheme would run.
For more information about the trust, visit the recently launched website, www.kingfishertrust.org