Helping to change lives
Rachel, 25, spent two years sleeping rough and now works full time to help other people off the streets. At the age of 15, Rachel was unable to stay in her family home and ended up on the streets and living with a serious drug addiction. Suffering with mental health problems and resorting to self-harming, Rachel spent some time in a hostel for homeless people but saw no future for herself. After two years rough sleeping, Rachel suffered severe bladder failure due to her substance misuse problems and spent 9 months in hospital. “This was the time that I was forced to tackle my addictions, but initially this wasn’t through choice”, says Rachel. “I then made a conscious decision to change my life and when I left hospital I was lucky enough to get a place in a hostel and took advantage, for the first time, of the support available from my support worker and the Community Mental Health Team”. Rachel began rebuilding her life and started volunteering and undertaking training at a drug and alcohol service helping people as a peer mentor.
Rachel is now, 7 years after she turned her life around, working for Huggard providing individual support to people using Huggard’s emergency overnight accommodation, many of whom experience poor mental health and substance misuse issues. “I know what it is like to be stuck in a cycle, where you feel unable or unwilling to receive support and I want to help people realise that they not only have an opportunity to move forward but that they have it in themselves to succeed.” Rachel explains, “The pull of street culture activities, such as begging, can often draw people back to the streets, even when they have made good progress away from it. My job is help provide people with a light at the end of the tunnel that outshines the temptations that have reinforced their cycle of homelessness.”
Richard Edwards, Huggard’s Chief Executive says, “We are very fortunate to have someone with Rachel’s experience, compassion and professionalism working with those that need our help. In Rachel’s first week she has helped a young man of 21 who has been discharged from a psychiatric hospital, following a drug induced psychosis, to start accepting support and take up hostel accommodation. He is now looking to move into a specialised young person’s project and is looking at a brighter future. Its empathy and targeted support like this that changes lives.”
Ignacio Lopez, Owen Niblock, Jamie McGowan, Luke Tiberious Biddle and Matt Rees at Nolton Corner, Bridgend.
Great couple of nights gigging as part of ’12 Days of Comedy’ around South Wales raising money for Huggard – Helping the Homeless.
Comedy @ The Corp and Nolton Comedy.
THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO CAME AND DONATED!
HUGGARD CAN NO LONGER ACCEPT CLOTHING DONATIONS FROM 5.00PM MONDAY 14TH DECEMBER. This will be reviewed in February 2016.
Due to a fantastic response to our Call-Outs and the continued generosity of individuals and groups supporting Huggard – we reluctantly need to put the breaks on clothing donations and we are sorry for any inconvenience this causes you.
Our basement storage area is full to overflowing. Until groups of student volunteers can sort through and categorise these gifts we have no space left.
HUGGARD WILL STILL BE ACCEPTING SCARVES, SOCKS, HATS, TOILETRIES, SANITARY PRODUCTS, WATERPROOFS, DISPOSABLE RAZORS, DEODERANT, UNDERPANTS, TOWELS AND ANY STOCKING (SWEETS, BUSCUITS, NUTS, CHOCOLATE etc.) FILLERS TO MAKE OUR CLIENTS XMAS EVEN MORE MEMORABLE.
THERE WILL STILL BE CALL-OUTS FOR OTHER SPECIFIC ITEMS IF NECESSARY.
Since we opened up our day centre as a secondary (emergency overnight stay) EOS unit – doubling our nightly intake to as many as 40+, the above consumables have produced a huge nightly demand that is always difficult to fullfil.
Thank you for all of your much appreciated support, have a great Xmas and New Year from all Staff, Volunteers and Clients of Huggard XX
Pictures: A Selection taken at Huggard’s 2014 Xmas Day.
A huge thank you from Staff, Volunteers, Friends and clients of Huggard to Zoe Michelle Dunn and friends for the very generous donation of 50 ‘shoe boxes’ for our clients on Xmas Day.
Apart from Huggard not being the only charity visited by Zoe on Friday – she delivered them by hand to Huggard after driving from her hometown of Carmarthen.
Once again, thank you for your much appreciated kindness and support xx
A big thank you to Panasonic Manufacturing UK Ltd and the Wales Japan Club for earning their wings for a second time by – Being Angels for a Day on Saturday 5th. of December.
Once again a heartfelt thank you from all the Staff, Volunteers, Friends and Clients of Huggard xx
What is ActiveAdvent
ActiveAdvent is a 25-day festive health challenge that will give homeless people a better Christmas. By taking the ActiveAdvent challenge, you will swap your chocolate filled advent calendars for 25 daily health-boosting activities that will improve Christmas for countless homeless people while also making your own Christmas a little more healthy.
The activity you choose is completely up to you. It could be 25 days of walking, dancing, running, yoga or rollerskating! What matters is that you challenge yourself to do something every single day of the advent period. If you skip a day, there’s a forfeit – you have to dig deep and exchange calories for cash.
How ActiveAdvent works…
1. Create a JustGiving page and pledge £10
2. Choose your activity
3. Choose your preferred homeless charity
4. Join the ActiveAdvent team (optional)
5. Challenge all your friends and family to the ActiveAdvent challenge If they decline they must sponsor you
6. Do your activity every day and share it on social
7. If you miss a day you must donate £1.00 per day missed
’Tis the season for sharing…
Share your ActiveAdvent challenge with your friends, family and the world! Take a picture of your challenge every day and post it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #ActiveAdvent15.
It’s time to get your sweat on and show that you care about giving homeless people a better Christmas. Sign up, invite your friends and family to do the same.
Join the ActiveAdvent Team / JUSTGIVING: To join the team – www.justgiving.com/teams/Active-Advent
JUSTGIVING: To donate – www.justgiving.com/Active-Advent1/
Huggard would like to thank Catherine P. for her wonderful donation of £100 and her kind words of encouragement.
Her gift and support help us greatly in making our client’s lives more bearable at this (for many) difficult time of the year.
Thank you again from all our staff, volunteers and clients at Huggard xx
Our good friends at FareShare Cymru have been nominated for a Sustain Wales Award. They provide a huge amount of food to Huggard valued at over £50,000 pa.
Without their support we couldn’t provide the level of help we currently do to the 1,700 homeless people that rely on the centre each year.
To vote for them please visit http://www.cynnalcymru.com/sustainable-social-enterprise/ and to find our more about FareShare Cymru take a look at http://www.fareshare.cymru/
A huge thank you to Natalie Selby and friends – Deri Jenkins and Kellymarie Morgan for doing a 3 day sponsored walk/camp from Carmarthen to Tenby and back.
They raised a much needed grand total of £536.30 for Huggard through Justgiving.com sponsorship and charity box donations along the way.
They told us they would do the walk ‘come rain or come shine’ and as it happens (look at the picture) it was mostly ‘come rain’.
Once again, a huge thank you to all involved from the staff, volunteers and clients of Huggard xxx
A big thank you to John at Nata & Co a Portuguese bakery on Clifton Street, Cardiff.
They have been donating their wonderful cakes/pastries on a Monday for sometime now and are greatly appreciated and eagerly anticipated by Huggards clients.
Thank you once again Nata for your continued support to our charity xx