Dear friends,

I hope you are all coping well with the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.

As a local resident, I have been a keen supporter of The Passage for many years. Having visited their Resource Centre, I have seen first-hand how people unfortunate enough to be street homeless will always receive a warm welcome, a shower, clean clothes and a good breakfast followed by the first steps towards tailored support into accommodation and employment, and vital help with health issues.

The pandemic fundamentally changed how The Passage helps those who are homeless. They continued to run frontline services and adapted quickly to move hundreds of people into temporary hotel accommodation. This gave the charity a unique opportunity to address their clients’ needs and help them find safe routes off the streets.

However, there is now a new group of people at immediate risk of becoming street homeless due to the economic crisis. The Passage is committed to preventing people from sleeping out; even one night can have a devastating effect and make recovery and resettlement much more difficult. In response, they have developed No Night Out, a new service providing safe, temporary accommodation, combined with specialist support matched to people’s specific needs. It offers clients long-term solutions to help prevent homelessness.

From 12.00 noon on Tuesday 16 March, The Passage is running a campaign with the Big Give; this is an online matched giving scheme to raise the funds for No Night Out. Anything that you donate to The Passage via The Big Give website before noon on Wednesday 24 March will be doubled at no extra cost to yourself. The Passage will share further details next week and I do hope we can all help to support this excellent initiative.

Yours faithfully,

David Dimbleby