Panacea Trust Awards SMART CJS £20k to Help Fund Essential Homeless Services

SMART CJS is delighted to have been awarded a much-needed grant of £20,000 from the Panacea Charitable Trust, a charity based in Bedford. This fantastic contribution will help to cover, otherwise unfunded, staffing costs as they continue to deliver an emergency response to the outbreak of Covid-19 for Bedford’s homeless population.

Sean Gillen, Deputy CEO, from the Panacea Charitable Trust commented: “Given the particular challenges facing the charity sector and society as a whole at this time, The Panacea Charitable Trust is pleased to provide this grant to help those experiencing homelessness and other complex needs to get the support they need. The work undertaken by SMART CJS since the onset of Covid-19 has been transformative for those who have accessed their services, and we are happy that we can play a part in assisting this process.”

Anita McCallum, SMART CEO, responded to the news by saying: “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded £20,000 from The Panacea Charitable Trust. They have been generous supporters of the SMART Prebend Centre in the past and we are so grateful for their help right now.”

Pictured above: SMART  CJS workers, alongside Bedford Borough Council staff and partners.

Over the past four months, SMART CJS has played an integral role in coordinating the emergency accommodation provided to Bedford’s homeless and rough sleepers. To date, SMART CJS has supported more than 60 individuals per month and has seen some extraordinarily positive outcomes for service users, with many having been moved into sustainable accommodation.

A lot of people provided with accommodation at the hotel in Bedford, run by SMART CJS, have felt a lot safer, well-fed and cared for than they have done in a very long time. And this has led to people being less reliant on drugs and alcohol and feeling that they can make significant changes to their lives. Above all, they have renewed hope and refreshed ambitions for themselves.

“This has been a huge undertaking for our staff and service users alike, to adapt to the constant and rapid changes needed to shield from Covid-19,” reports Jen Robus, SMART CJS Bedford Service Manager.  “It has also given us a unique opportunity to provide really intensive support to our rough sleepers and homeless population. We’re really proud of the positive outcomes our service users have achieved! We can continue the good work with such a significant sum of money from the Panacea Charitable Trust.”


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