As you may be aware, this week is Mental Health Awareness week. A national initiative to get people talking. So, we thought we would do a series of posts surrounding the homeless as they may not have chance to talk about it.
In 2014, a report from Homeless Link found that 80% of the homeless community had a mental health issue – 45% of which was diagnosed. According to a report from the ONS (2011) 26% of homeless people said the cause for being homeless was due to having a mental health issue.
As you can see from the word cloud, lots of factors can result in a mental health issue developing. Like many people, taking the first step towards help can be the toughest, even more so when you feel isolated. At Helping Hands Portsmouth, we often are asked by the homeless people of Portsmouth if we can and do signpost people to services and, if they wish, go along to appoints at those services with them too.
Our outreach events often provide the community, social atmosphere and inclusivity with the wider world. This week we are asking people to speak to a homeless person if they feel comfortable doing so – that “Hello – how are you?” could be the most social interaction they have had for the past 24 hours. A little really does go a long way. If a homeless person asks you a question, we ask that you simply reply to them politely, like you would to someone in the office or workplace.
This week, 14 May – 20 May, is a week dedicated to nationally spreading awareness around mental health.
You may have seen recently the statistics showing the number people who live on our streets that suffer from some variation of mental health issues.
Living on the streets can sometimes be one of the most isolating times someone will ever experience. No one to turn to. No one to look up at. No one to have a pint with on a Friday. No support network.
We here at Helping Hands Portsmouth ensure that whoever comes along to our outreach sessions has a chat with our outreach team. Often a “hello, are you okay?” and a grunt reply is what we experience. But that simple question can often lead to someone asking for help and we signpost them and walk with them if they want us to. It does take time. We ensure no one is left behind.
Next time you walk down to the shop, down to KFC or walking home from work, we ask that maybe you speak to a homeless person. If they ask you a question, please be polite enough to reply. They are human at the end of the day.
(illustration from Charlie Mackesy, Instagram user: charliemackesy)
Three Bar in Southsea hosted a fundraiser pub quiz for Helping Hands Portsmouth
On Wednesday 9th May 2018, Three Bar in Southsea kindly hosted a fundraiser pub quiz for Helping Hands Portmsouth.
The event was very popular with tables being fully booked and the bar being packed for what proved to be a fun and quizzical night!
We raised £321 on the night through entry to the quiz as well as the raffle that was held on the night. There was a variety of prizes including, a bottle of wine and free tickets to Portsmouth’s Oktoberfest held in the Guildhall.
A huge thank you to Three Bar for hosting the quiz and a massive thank you to everyone that attended and made it the sucess it was!
Whistler Fish and Chip Shop located on Hayling Island held a collection for Helping Hands Portsmouth as part of thier St. George’s Day celebrations
Back in April 2018, Whilster’s Fish and Chip Shop held a celebration of St George’s Day in the form of selling the british delicacy for £1 per portion. They requested that in return for the reduced price in Fish and Chips people donated to a selection of local causes.
They chose Helping Hands Portsmouth and asked customers to bring down material donations that the homeless men and women living on our streets would need and be able to use.
A huge thank you to Whistler’s and all thier customers for supporting Helping Hands Portsmouth. We were really grateful for the donations we received.
If you’re out and about on Hayling Island enjoying the summer weather over the next few months and fancy a bite to eat why not pop down to Whistler’s and show them your support!
Year 6 pupils from Woodcot Primary School in Gosport organised a collection of items for the homeless men and women of Portsmouth.
At the start of April 2018, we received an email from the headteacher of Woodcot Primary School in Gosport informing us that a group of five Year 6 children had come up with a project to help the homeless, a cause they were passionate about helping.
The group of children created and delivered an assembly to the whole school about homelessness and what they had found through their own research.
Following on from their assembly that they delivered to the whole school the children arranged a collection of items that they thought the homeless men and women living on our streets would need during their time on the streets.
Items that the children had requested to be brought in for the appeal included sleeping bags, rucksacks, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, wet wipes and sanitary items. It is really touching, to the admin team and the volunteers of Helping Hands Portsmouth, to see so much thought and maturity go into such a project.
The children had decided to divide up their donations into various categories which included rucksacks and daypacks with items differing to suit the circumstance of the purpose of the pack. Rucksacks were packed for the long-term survival on the streets with the day packs containing a day to day essentials that we need in our lives.
From all of us here at Helping Hands Portsmouth, on behalf of the homeless men and women living on our streets, a huge heartfelt thank you for your donations raised through your appeal! Fantastic effort that will make a difference in someone’s life.
Charmed Life Festival 2018 have chosen to partner up with Helping Hands Portsmouth for this years festival!
Charmed Life Festival is into it’s second year this year bringing tribute acts to Portsmouth’s Victoria Park, located right in the middle of the city!
The day runs from 11:30am with acts kicking off the festival on the two stages at 12:00. The festival will be running through until 11:30pm.
Volunteers from helping Hands Portsmouth will be walking around the site with collection buckets throughout the day.
The money raised from the festival will ensure that we are able to continue our work thorughout the rest of the year continuing into the forseeable future.
Tickets are available from £20 each and can be purchased at the following website. Click here.
Here is a video of last year’s festival. This year is set to be bigger and better so why not come down and enjoy the acts that are across the two stages:
A huge thank you to the organisers of Charmed Life Festival who have chosen Helping Hands Portsmouth this year! More information about the festival, including line up and location can be found on the Charmed Life Festival website
HE AIN’T HEAVY, HE’S MY BROTHER
On the street it’s every man for himself, right?
Well, no. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Gruff kindness and quiet comradeship between the homeless men and women is something we often observe.
We thought we would share some of the things we’ve witnessed in a series of weekly posts. Here’s the fourth…
…when a young, pregnant woman came over dizzy and sick one night as she walked home, three street sleepers were on it. They carefully sat her down, wiped her forehead, got her water and fussed over her like three midwives. She got a telling off for wearing such high heels and advice about eating more low carb snacks. All men, all a bit intimidating to walk past normally. All fathers in another life…
Small moments, easily missed but proving that life can take literally everything from you – except your humanity.
Saturday is Gratitude Day. Our favourite!
A huge and heartfelt thank you to the following people for supporting us with such kindness this week.
❤️When a community works together, nobody needs to be cold, isolated or hungry❤️
Charley McBride, Charlotte Mizzi, Victoria Edgar, Hilda Green, Anna Hele, Rebecca Stevens Stb Ford, Anna, Joan Leeming, Jodie Newell, Sharron Ponsford
If you would like to support us in anyway please feel free to contact us through this page, email us here, or contact a member of the admin team through Facebook.