County councillor fund boosts Exeter charity for the homeless

Posted on: 8 August 2017

Exeter’s Devon County Councillors have used their community budget to support St Petrock’s, Exeter’s charity for people who are homeless.

All nine City County Councillors contributed towards a £1,935 grant to enable St Petrock’s to purchase a new oven, which is now in service, providing weekday hot breakfasts and lunches to people in need.

Last year, the charity provided 9,727 meals from its centre kitchen, enabling its project workers to build engagement with individuals who are homeless and those at risk.

The money was contributed from the Locality Budgets of Councillors Percy Prowse, Marina Asvachin, Su Aves, Rob Hannaford, Andrew Leadbetter, Hilary Ackland, Yvonne Atkinson, Emma Brennan and Carol Whitton.

Each county councillor has a locality budget that they can use to respond to local needs and support projects or activities that benefit the communities they represent.

For two decades St Petrock’s has supported Exeter’s homeless, providing a range of emergency, support and prevention services, helping 8,200 people to get accommodation.

Over the past year the charity has seen the number of people accessing their housing, welfare and mental-health support services increase to 65 a day.

Mel Hartley, St Petrock’s Project Manager, said: “We greatly appreciate the county council’s support for our work with some of the most vulnerable people in the area.

“By meeting their basic needs in a safe welcoming environment, our staff can begin to build relationships of trust with individuals; these are essential in helping them move forwards into accommodation and in fulfilling their potential.

“This grant will make a real difference in the months ahead as we seek to help local people into more settled and fulfilling lives.”

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with a special responsibility for Exeter, said:

“I speak for all of Exeter’s county councillors when I say we are delighted to support St Petrock’s.  The service St Petrock’s provides is more than a cup of tea and a hot meal, for many it can be the first step in achieving real stability in their lives.”

Councillor Rob Hannaford, Devon Count Council’s Local Member for Exwick

Councillor Rob Hannaford

and St Thomas, said:

“The importance of this service cannot be overstated – for many it is literally a lifeline, not only in providing nutrition for rough sleepers who have no way of cooking a hot meal, but as a first step in accessing further support.”

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