An initiative to combat homelessness in East England has assisted nearly 20,000 people.

Hopestead, a homelessness charity under the Flagship Group, has distributed more than £300,000 to multiple charities through its Hope Funds scheme since its launch in 2021.

Representatives from 12 organisations that benefited from round three of funding came together at The Feed in Waterloo Park in Norwich, on March 20, to share their ideas and experiences.

Marie-Claire Delbrouque, Hopestead’s CEO, said: “At Hopestead, we believe that everyone deserves a place to call home.

Eastern Daily Press: A fourth round of Hope Funds is due to open for applications in the summer A fourth round of Hope Funds is due to open for applications in the summer (Image: Flagship Group)

“We know that the journey towards ending homelessness is not an easy one, but we can make a difference by working together.

“That’s why events like this are so important.

"It’s a chance to build stronger partnerships, talk about the issues we’re facing and look for solutions.”

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Among the workshop participants were the King’s Lynn Night Shelter, Norfolk Community Law Service, The Feed, Mid Suffolk and East Suffolk Citizens Advice Bureau branches.

The Ipswich Housing Association Group, The Horticulture Industry Scheme, the New Meaning Foundation, the Selig Suffolk Trust, and YMCA Norfolk also took part.

Lucy McKitterick, the director of the King’s Lynn Night Shelter, said: “We have eight rooms accommodating people with quite high support needs, and we accommodated 24 people between the start of November last year and the end of February.

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“I think all those people would have been without somewhere to stay if it hadn’t been for the night shelter.

“We are also the only place in King’s Lynn that has a 24/7 doorbell and we help people who come to the door at any time of day or night.

“Hopestead is one of the reasons why the night shelter is still open and the charity exists."

A fourth round of Hope Funds is due to open for applications this summer.