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Building society backs local homeless charity

A leading homelessness group struggling to deal with a doubling of the number of rough sleepers in Ipswich has been given a boost by a local business.

The Ipswich Housing Action Group has just been presented with a cheque for £431 from Ipswich Building Society whose branch in the town’s busy Sailmakers Shopping Centre has adopted them as its designated charity.

The money will help in their continuing campaign to address Ipswich’s homelessness issues which have ballooned this year.

Three years ago, IHAG was working with up to five people sleeping rough in the town, last year it was 13 and during the most recent Rough Sleeper Count by Ipswich Borough Council and partners, 27 people were identified.

The position is made more difficult by the struggle that small local organisations like IHAG face in competing with national charities for vital government funding and which has made support from businesses like Ipswich Building Society even more important.

IHAG figures show the town also has around 1,100 single people every year looking for accommodation in homeless hostels or temporary shared living arrangements.

Mr Hewitt, the Director of IHAG, said the process of applying for funding favoured large non Suffolk based charities and ignored the skills and expertise of charities working on the ground who are rooted in the community which they serve.

And he thanked Ipswich Building Society and other local businesses for the valuable role they played in helping protect the town’s homeless.

The organisation this week handed over a cheque for £431.90 from the proceeds of a raffle it held alongside a series of IHAG in-branch awareness events before Christmas.

Pictured above: Help for the homeless, Tom Jell, Manager of the Ipswich Building Society branch at Sailmakers Shopping Centre hands over a cheque to Grace Batterbee, Ipswich Housing Action Group Development Manager, watched by, from left, Charlie West of IHAG; Megan Wright and Lewis Anderson of Ipswich Building Society.

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