6 September 2019

Swale Borough Councillors Report

"This month we report on the work of the new administration at Swale Borough Council to support some of the most vulnerable people in the borough. Two initiatives are being developed: One to help rough sleepers to a more positive future, and another to help foodbanks in Faversham, Sittingbourne and Sheerness reach more local people - including families with children – who would otherwise go hungry.

Support for rough sleepers.
Swale Borough Council is investing £150,000 in a more proactive approach to help rough sleepers. The council is working with charities and voluntary groups to help identify and support rough sleepers, and help them back into suitable housing.

A new rough sleeping coordinator has been appointed who is working with local charities and voluntary groups, such as food banks and soup kitchens, to identify and support those sleeping on the streets.

The council has also brought in specialist outreach workers from the homeless charity Porchlight. These workers support people living on the streets by assessing their housing, social and healthcare needs, and working with partner agencies to help them move towards a more positive future.
The council are already putting together plans with community groups to provide a night shelter in winter to make sure rough sleepers have a safe, warm place to stay on the coldest nights.

Support for foodbanks.
Plans are being put together by Swale Borough Council to help local foodbanks support more local families.

Councillors have been meeting with groups, such as Children and Families, Faversham Foodbank and Sittingbourne Foodbank, that run local projects to get a better understanding of the need and take up of the service. These meetings also gave councillors the chance to see how the foodbanks work with other agencies, and helped identify ways in which the council could support them to become more effective.

The plans to support local foodbanks are being finalised but will include funding to help with distribution and advice.

Tim Valentine (TImValentine@swale.gov.uk)
Alastair Gould (AlastairGould@swale.gov.uk)