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Riding for a Cause: A Journey to Make a Difference

Orwell Housing Association Chair Embarks on Charity Cycle Ride to raise awareness of the reduction in funding for Homeless Housing.

Posted by: | 21st May 2024
Helen Bike Ride

Orwell Housing Association’s Chair, Helen Driver, will be undertaking a cycle ride to highlight the critical issue of a reduction in government and local funding to provide supported accommodation for people facing homelessness. This initiative aims to raise awareness about the challenges faced by individuals who rely on this essential service.

Homeless accommodation, of which Orwell manages 85 units, support people with a range of needs, such as being at risk of homelessness or fleeing domestic abuse. People may also present with complex or additional needs such as drug and alcohol misuse, poor mental health and well-being, unhealthy and abusive relationships, and low self-esteem.

Suffolk County Council has confirmed it will press forward with its strategy to reduce funding for supported housing programmes within the next two years. This cut has been proposed due to the need for Local Authorities to make significant budget cuts.

The charity cycle ride is not only a call to action for increased support for these essential services but also a fundraising effort for Orwell Housing Association’s Make a Difference Fund. This internal fund is dedicated to assisting Orwell customers during times of need, providing that extra bit of help that can make all the difference.

Helen’s challenge, which is taking place on the 24th May, will stretch 50 miles and cover a route that starts and finishes at two of Orwell’s Temporary Supported Housing schemes, Hinde House in Norwich and Christchurch House in Ipswich. Along the way, Helen will be supported by a number of Orwell colleagues and, at each pit stop, the team will be shown a video story from an Orwell supported housing customer or ‘Make a Difference’ fund recipient, to inspire them to complete the ride and remind them of the difference these services make to local people.

When asked what motivated her to take up this challenge, Helen said: “While I understand the need to make difficult funding decisions both at local and national levels, these decisions shouldn’t be at the cost of temporary supported housing which provides a lifeline for many. Supported housing offers not just a place to stay but also the support needed to rebuild lives. The lack of government funding has put these services at risk, affecting the most vulnerable members of our society”.

If you wish to support Helen and Orwell Housing Association in raising awareness and funds, donations can be made via https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-helens-50mile-mission You can also track Helen’s progress and learn more about the impact of your contributions via Orwell’s social media channels.

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