For John Worsley founder and chair of the SHAX charity it’s not just a case of charity begins at home but charity is a home worth living in. SHAX provide starter packs and household goods to homeless people across the south west of Scotland ensuring that when people eventually get a place to live in, it quickly becomes more than just four walls and a roof. Since John set up the charity in April 2012 its been run entirely by volunteers. John says,
“When we opened our doors as a registered homeless charity in April 2012 we knew there was a need but over the last 12 months there does seem to be an increased demand. I’m 67 years-old and retired and I’m working at least five days a week helping SHAX and our hard-working team of volunteers to achieve the occasional miracle. I am really pleased this grant has come through and we are now on the path to provide better targeted and ‘joined-up’ services to those in need locally.”
On December 17 SHAX were awarded £128,305 from Support and Connect for their Starter Packs and Homemaker project John adds,
“With this Big Lottery Fund grant we can move up a gear and are able to improve and enhance the help we give to local people affected by homelessness and very low incomes. The grant means we can employ and provide training for key staff, so our Homemaker and Starter Pack schemes can continue to provide much needed poverty relief in and around Dumfries in South West Scotland.
“Often when many homeless people eventually get a tenancy they have to move in at very short notice and they may have almost nothing to furnish their new home with. We manage to get the very basics to them so they can start off at least a little comfortably. This Christmas we’ve been helping one young man to make sure he has a bed to sleep in on Christmas Eve rather than bedding down on the floor.
“As the 67 year old founder and chair I’m working at least five days a week helping SHAX and its hard-working team of volunteers to achieve the occasional miracle. I am really pleased this grant has come through and we are now on the path to provide better targeted and ‘joined-up’ services to those in need locally.”
SHAX is one of 64 groups across Scotland to share £9.2 million this week. Through our Support and Connect programme the Big Lottery Fund has pledged over £19 million since March 2013 to people and communities dealing with hardship.
Here’ a full list of this week’s Support and Connect Grants for Web
For more information on all our funding programmes go to www.biglotteryfund.org.uk