27 March 2024

Members of the Homelessness Partnership BCP turned out in force on 21 March to launch the new, dedicated Let’s Talk Renting telephone helpline – designed to support private tenants who are struggling with rent arrears or at risk of eviction. Here, we look at highlights from the Partnership’s special homelessness prevention event…

The event, which took place at Gather – the community venue at The Dolphin in Poole – saw representatives from homelessness support services unveil our brand new Let’s Talk Renting campaign materials – hot off the press!

Members of the public were able to drop in and speak directly to Shelter, St Mungo’s, Faithworks, Access to Food Partnership, Routes to Roots, Citizens Advice BCP, BCP Council’s housing department and charitable housing association BCHA.

Let’s Talk Renting Banners, posters, leaflets and fridge magnets are being distributed across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, raising awareness among private tenants who might need support in the current challenging economic climate.

The helpline is now open from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, on 01202 985104.

Local media turned out in force to cover the event, with journalists from the Bournemouth Daily Echo, Greatest Hits Radio, BH Living and Bournemouth One all attending to interview Partnership members and find out about support available locally for people who are experiencing homelessness.

Above, Cllr Kieron Wilson, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Regulatory Services, is pictured being interviewed by Jamie Guerra of Greatest Hits Radio. You can also read this excellent report by Andy Diprose of Bournemouth One here: https://tinyurl.com/mr5rjtfv

According to Jamie White, Deputy Operations Manager at Citizens Advice BCP (pictured), the service has witnessed a significant rise in clients who are threatened with homelessness.

Local residents spoke directly to Jamie and the team about issues that are putting their tenancies at risk, as well as problems with damp and mould, and money worries resulting from the cost-of-living crisis.

One of many partners that exhibited at the event included Faithworks Arch. It runs a Carpentry Workshop that equips people recovering from homelessness with the skills to secure employment.

Faithworks’ Arch Connection and Training teams exhibited beautifully hand-crafted goods made by trainees at the Carpentry Workshop and chatted to visitors about practical, positive ways to move on from homelessness.

With the rising cost of food putting pressure on so many people’s finances, the Access to Food Partnership was on hand with plenty of helpful ideas to cook healthily on a budget.

From foodbanks to social supermarkets, community fridges, cooking workshops and community meals, visitors were signposted to local food support, helping to ensure that no-one in the BCP area goes hungry.

The Homelessness Partnership BCP is extremely grateful to the team from The Dolphin for allowing us to use their fantastic Gather venue for our special event.