Have you had enough of seeing people sleeping on our streets?
Working together as a community to end rough sleeping
Galvanise Brighton & Hove is a community-led campaign with local people working together to end rough sleeping.
The aim is that no-one has the need to sleep rough in Brighton and Hove by 2020, in line with the aspirations of the city’s Rough Sleeping Strategy.
Galvanise Brighton & Hove (GalvaniseBH) is part of the European Campaign to End Street Homelessness, coordinated by World Habitat, and currently operating in 10 European cities. The project has seen over 1,000 volunteers survey rough sleepers in cities across Europe, from Valencia to London.
The campaign is supported by YMCA DownsLink Group, Brighton YMCA, St. Mungo’s, The Passage, Fulfilling Lives, Brighton and Hove City Council and a variety of community organisations and local businesses. To learn more about how organisations are continuing to work together to raise awareness about rough sleeping and how best to help the homeless, read about the Make Change Count campaign.
At the end of 2017, 160 community volunteers in Brighton and Hove spoke to rough sleepers about their lives, hopes and aspirations. The purpose was to ensure that the views of homeless people feed into service redesign and to bring together different sections of society to discuss innovative housing solutions.
To find out more about the survey results, click here.
Watch this heart-warming short film by Toby Madden on how this campaign is being run across Europe.
Help protect rough sleepers from severe weather.
This winter, SWEP (Severe Weather Emergency Protocol) has a permanent venue for the cold months and we are looking for volunteers to support this by being present on the nights when SWEP is activated. With a long, cold winter predicted, SWEP may be open for extended periods of time.
The role of the volunteers will primarily be to support the staff team by helping to create a calm, friendly and welcoming environment. This will involve things like serving drinks and food (possibly preparing food if we can facilitate this and fix up the kitchen), spending time with guests playing games, talking about books, discussing politics, helping to manage the donated goods, and sometimes just sitting with someone to hear their life story.
The guests will often be tired and cold and some will just want to sleep so we are looking for people who are sensitive enough to know when someone is happiest left undisturbed. You will also need to be personally robust enough to manage what can be a stressful and demanding environment - though mostly this will not be the case. Your human kindness and warmth are an opportunity to unravel some of the harm of a life on the streets.
We will create a rota with two volunteers on each night – whether you will be needed will depend on the weather. SWEP is activated if the weather is due to drop below zero for one night or more or there is an Amber weather warning. You will be volunteering alongside a trained staff team and St Mungo’s staff who know the people on the streets and their dogs well. The set up time will be 6pm for an opening time of 6.30pm and finish at 10.30pm. As you are volunteers these times will be flexible where possible.
Volunteers are needed now, so to find out more information and apply, please email SWEP@galvanisebh.org
You can also pledge your support for the campaign below, and make sure you're kept up-to-date with all the latest news and events.