Posts By: James Whitcomb

Virtual September Sleepout – Can you rough it for one night?

On Saturday 24th September 2022, from 7pm to 7am, we will be holding our first fundraising event since Covid struck – the SMART Sleepout 2022! Please join us and help us to raise funds and awareness for the SMART Prebend Homeless Day Centre. Experience a little of what it’s like to be homeless and sleep rough.

WE ARE LOOKING FOR PASSIONATE PEOPLE TO BECOME SMART CJS TRUSTEES

In a recent survey it was reported that over eight in ten of those performing Trustee roles said that it made them happier and over one in five said that they got a promotion as a result of their service. ​We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to bring their experience and knowledge to our board of trustees. The board is our governing body, providing strategy and direction and ensuring we’re run according to the rules.​

SMART CJS NEWS BULLETIN ISSUE 12

News from SMART CJS’s projects in Bedford, Milton Keynes and Oxford – Awards, random acts of kindness, glorious gardening, mental health awareness week and celebrating 11 years of Howard House!

EXCITING NEW VOLUNTEERING ROLE IN MILTON KEYNES!

We have an exciting new opportunity for an enthusiastic person/s to join the team at Norman Russell House (SMART’s supported accommodation in Milton Keynes for former rough sleepers) as the Activities Volunteer.

CELEBRATING 11 YEARS OF HOWARD HOUSE – PLEASE JOIN US!

So far, we have welcomed around 14 people a day into the centre for a chat, a warm drink, and a hot takeaway meal. We have spoken to several people who are struggling to afford food because of the rise of living costs and the reduction of Universal Credit. People without a home have been able to talk about their situation, get food, collect their post (the building is a registered address for many) and use the phone to make essential calls.

THE SMART PREBEND HOMELESS CENTRE IS OPEN AGAIN – THANK YOU!

So far, we have welcomed around 14 people a day into the centre for a chat, a warm drink, and a hot takeaway meal. We have spoken to several people who are struggling to afford food because of the rise of living costs and the reduction of Universal Credit. People without a home have been able to talk about their situation, get food, collect their post (the building is a registered address for many) and use the phone to make essential calls.

More than just a roof over your head

“Getting rough sleepers off the streets is only the start of the rehabilitation process”, explains Ryan Willett, who works at Norman Russell House in Milton Keynes. ”Why they got there in the first place is often a complex matter that has taken years to come about, so it’s no wonder that untangling it can take time and patience.”

The Prebend Centre is Reopening – Volunteers Needed!

The phased reopening of the Prebend Centre in Bedford begins on Wednesday 26th January! We need volunteers to help with a variety of tasks. Do you have the spare time and skills we need to get the centre thriving again?

SMART CJS NEWS BULLETIN ISSUE 11

News from SMART CJS’s projects in Bedford, Milton Keynes and Oxford – Additional funding for rough sleeper beds, the Monster Mash at Norman Russell House and Rogers Court on the telly!

SMART CJS Wins Winter Homelessness Funding

SMART CJS, has announced that it has successfully bid for additional funds for helping rough sleepers over the Winter period. The Winter Transformation Fund grant, comes courtesy of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, Homeless Link and Housing Justice and was confirmed earlier this month.

Bedford-Based Chair Appointed to Board at SMART CJS

There are big changes at the top of SMART CJS, as current Chair of the board of trustees, Dave Rawcliffe, steps down after five years, handing over to Bedford-based property lawyer Chantal Thomas. Keara O’Connor, a Milton Keynes-based Project Manager also joins the board as a new trustee.

SMART CJS NEWS BULLETIN ISSUE 10

Exciting and uplifting news from SMART CJS’s projects in Bedford, Milton Keynes and Oxford – A landmark moment, positive developments and heartfelt feedback.

Landmark Moment in Bedford – Rogers Court is Open!

SMART CJS is proud to announce that Rogers Court, Bedford is open! It will support former homeless and rough sleepers in 20 individual, self-contained accommodation units and help people back on their feet to a positive future.

SMART HOWARD HOUSE ONLINE SURVEY GOES LIVE

Are you a former resident at Howard House or do know someone who has taken part in the programme? Have you have previously volunteered at the service? Have been involved with the service in another way? We need your help.

SMART CJS NEWS BULLETIN ISSUE 9

Take a peek at what’s been happening across SMART CJS services… In this edition: Volunteers, VIPs and a trip to Blenheim Palace.

SMART CJS NEWS BULLETIN ISSUE 8

The SMART News Bulletin covers all SMART CJS’s projects and provides local contacts. The May edition celebrates our wonderful people doing amazing things.

SMART CJS IMPACT REPORT 2020: A YEAR OF CHANGES

During 2020 we have helped at least 1500 individuals who have experienced rough sleeping and homelessness, and/or substance misuse. We believe that everyone needs a little help sometimes and, with trust, respect and honesty, people can make incredible changes. The 2020 report celebrates outstanding achievements made by amazing people!

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