Charity helps equip homes for the needy

Settling in: Phillip Thomas with SmartMove volunteer Neil Duffy
Settling in: Phillip Thomas with SmartMove volunteer Neil Duffy

A LOCAL homelessness charity is successfully putting people back on their feet.

Calderdale SmartMove offers a range of support and now has more than 100 clients on its books.

The service expanded in September and is now also the tenancy support organisation for Stonham Housing and Horton Housing Association.

Recently, Phillip Thomas was referred to SmartMove and is now settling into his flat in Rastrick.

SmartMove worked with Pennine Housing to secure his first tenancy and gave him furniture and pots and pans donated by the public.

His support worker Carol McLean accompanied Phillip to view the property and sign-up.

“He is over the moon and very appreciative for what we have done,” she said.

He is also receiving help with learning and training from the charity’s SmartSkills team and can look forward to ongoing support for two years.

Ongoing support for clients can include help to resolve issues with bills, debt and benefits.

And private landlords are offered a free advice service in addition to having tenants provided for their properties with a bond guarantee.

A team of staff are supported by volunteers who also receive training in various roles.

SmartMove team leader Julie Charalambous said demand for help was increasing.

“We do have a waiting list,” she said.

“Some people come to us because they are homeless, some are under threat of eviction and others have problems paying bills.

“The furniture and bits we get donated are snapped up straight away.”

Volunteer worker Nigel Duffy said the charity would welcome household items for distribution to clients and he can be contacted on 07876166570.