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New furnishing scheme launches that helps rebuild tenants’ lives

Published on Friday, 24th March 2017 in People and communities news

A new furniture scheme has launched in Rotherham to help tenants make their houses into homes when they move on from homelessness.

Local charity, Target Housing, Rotherham Council's Homeless team and national charity: St Martin-in-the-Fields, have formed a partnership to equip tenants homes as they begin to rebuild their lives, following homelessness.

The scheme, which aims to help transform their bricks and mortar properties into homes, offers tenants free furniture and white goods, sourced from reputable suppliers.

Partner representatives were invited to the Mayor's parlour at Rotherham Town Hall on Friday, 17 March, 2017, where the scheme was officially launched by Mayor of Rotherham, Councillor Lyndsay Pitchley, who said: "I'm really pleased to launch this scheme to support vulnerable and homeless people who have difficulties in sustaining their tenancies to help them achieve independence.

"I would like to thank all the partners; Target Housing, St Martin-in-the Fields, and our own Homelessness team for all the hard work they have put in to get this scheme off the ground."

A tenant, who has already been helped by the scheme, said: "I'm so grateful to the Council and Target Housing staff, as not only have they helped me settle into my new home, they've also provided me with a cooker, which I couldn't afford to buy before.

"In my previous property, my daughter and I were living off microwaveable meals, but now I'm able to cook properly; making much healthier meals for me and my family."

Rotherham Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Dominic Beck, said: "We are delighted to be part of this vital scheme, which fits with our ambitions to ensure every adult is safe, responsible and empowered and that all children have the best start in life. Having a decent home can affect all areas of life - from health, to achievement at school and the ability to get work, so I welcome this scheme that provides people with not just a roof over their heads but a fresh start and help when they need it most."

Shaun Needham, Chief Executive of Target Housing, said: "This is an important initiative - many new tenancies fail because people don't have the money to furnish or equip their property, and end up with just empty soulless rooms, but by coming together we can help address this and make houses become homes."

Target Housing is a local charity that supports vulnerable adults with complex and multiple needs with compassion and a practical hands on approach. The charity addresses homelessness, poverty, health and wellbeing needs, through quality housing and comprehensive programmes of support to improve people's lives across Rotherham, South Yorkshire and the Humber.

St Martin-in-the-Fields is a London based charity that annually raises money through its BBC Radio 4; Christmas Appeal, an appeal that started over 90 years ago. In 2016, St Martin's invited charities to bid to become official partners in order to ensure the money raised is actively distributed throughout the country, and to develop a network for frontline workers working with homeless and vulnerable people.

Target Housing successfully bid to be one of 13 regional partner organisations across the country that forms the St Martin-in-the-Fields Frontline Network and receives funding for a Partnership Worker covering Yorkshire and Humberside.

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