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Volunteers sleep rough in Queens Square for Crawley Open House

29 people slept outside to raise awareness of homelessness locally, and funds for Crawley Open House who try and do something about it.

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The voluntary rough sleepers with Crawley Mayor, Brian Quinn.

Last night (12 April) saw staff and volunteers from Crawley Open House brave the cold as they slept rough in Queens Square.

The group of 29 local people included staff and trustees from COH, as well as supporters from local companies, organisations and places of worship.

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They all came together to raise awareness about homelessness, and to raise funds for Crawley Open House which provides support and services for those suffering the effects of homelessness, unemployment, loneliness, discrimination, or other forms of social exclusion.

Crawley Mayor, Brian Quinn attended the event to ‘check up’ on the volunteers during the evening and local businesses offered their help.

The rough sleepers with Crawley Mayor, Brian Quinn.

The brand-new Arabica Coffee House, showed their support by offering tea and coffees on arrival and McDonalds were on hand to give the rough sleepers a well-needed breakfast in the morning.

Deputy director at Crawley Open House, Glenn Stubbs said:

“We were very pleased with how the event went. It was lovely to have the support from the community and so many people keen to develop their understanding of the issues homeless people face.”

Crawley Open House’s volunteers, all fast asleep.

Some of the team at Crawley Open House will be running the Gatwick half marathon, and people from other businesses will be running to help raise money, and awareness.

PCSO’s from Crawley Police attended the sleep out:

For more information about Crawley Open House, go to www.crawleyopenhouse.co.uk/

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‘Springboard are not closing because we were increasing the rent’ says Leader of Crawley Council

Reports that the charity will have to close their Langley Green site because of rent increase are just not true says Councillor Peter Lamb.

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[Image: Google Maps]

In response to the claims that the charity Springboard would have to close their Langley Green site due to a rent increase by Crawley Borough Council, Leader the Council Peter Lamb has written publicly to address the issue.

Posting on his own blog he says:

“I’m aware that a number of mistruths are being circulated around about this, so in the interests of fairness I thought you might like a true account of events.

When Springboard opened they decided to take on a commercial property at a commercial rent.

“I agreed to look at freezing the rent and guaranteeing the council’s grant funding for a number of years”

At this time all the risks were highlighted to them, but they decided to take on the property nonetheless and various public sector organisations provided grant funding to help set the property up and pay for some of the running costs.

Last year I met with the new chief executive of the charity who flagged up that they were in financial difficulties, that he understood the circumstances under which the charity had taken on the property but they were struggling.

At the time I agreed to look at freezing the rent and guaranteeing the council’s grant funding for a number of years and I was given to understand that that might be enough to ensure the charity’s presence in the town. I looked into it and reported back that we could commit to such an arrangement.

“It is very sad that the charity is closing but it is not though any unreasonable behaviour on the council’s part

When I met with the chief executive again in February I was informed that the charity’s financial position had worsened and that freezing the rent and guaranteeing the grant would not be enough for the charity to be able to maintain its presence in Crawley.

I said that we weren’t in a position to commit to the tens of thousands of pounds in additional funding which were requested, but that we’d be willing to form part of a solution alongside WSCC and the CCG who have legal responsibility for the groups Springboard works with.

For some reason this was not seen to be seen as an acceptable solution and I did not hear anything further until I was informed Springboard were closing.

Springboard are not closing because we were increasing the rent (despite their signing up to that contract), nor because of any cuts to their grant funding by CBC but because their financial position worsened due to the loss of a major donor and Crawley Borough Council were not in a place to make up the gap without the support of the two organisations legally responsible for Springboard’s client group.

It is very sad that the charity is closing but it is not though any unreasonable behaviour on the council’s part, particularly when you consider we were the only organisation which expressed a willingness to help despite having no formal remit to do with Springboard’s work.”

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