District 12 Inner Wheel

The Joint District Chairmen's Charity 

for 2020 to 2021 is 

the Air Ambulance

District Chairman Liz Lister's charity for 2019 -2020

The District Chairmanís Charity this year is Porchlight.

Porchlight was founded in Canterbury but works across the whole of Kent. Porchlight, particularly, help the homeless or those in danger of becoming homeless, to get the support they need.  And it makes a difference. It, very successfully, tries to rehabilitate the homeless by providing them with the support, advice, guidance and skills to live independently in the future.

In the last few years there has been an enormous increase in the numbers of rough sleepers in the UK and particularly in the number of women living rough, with Kent having one of the highest numbers. 140  women, at the last official count, were homeless and living rough in Kent. All homeless people are vulnerable but women more so. They are at risk of rape, abuse, and manipulation as well as mental and physical ill health, and it can happen to anyone.

Porchlight are organising a specific campaign for women rough sleepers and are trying to raise £20,000 to provide a Rapid Rehousing scheme so that vulnerable women can be taken off the street immediately and into a safe environment.

International Inner Wheel three-year social project is Caring for Women and Girls. Supporting Porchlight to tackle the problem of women living rough fits in with that social project and we hope to make a substantial contribution towards it.

Latest News from Porchlight!

Email from Rachel at Porchlight to DC Liz

We have been able to get a lot of rough sleepers into temporary accommodation over the weekend and the team continues to work on the streets this week.

Weíve found that this unprecedented situation is giving our outreach team the chance to engage some of their most entrenched clients, the first steps towards building the trust they need to accept our help on a more permanent basis.

We are working with those individuals now to look at their benefit applications and needs assessment with a view to finding longer term accommodation for them, including in our own hostels as whatís provided through the state is only temporary. Foodbanks are vital in helping those people to access food and partnership working with the local councils, community groups and ourselves is going well.

Work in our hostels is continuing and we are putting measures in place to make sure staffing levels are maintained Ė for example I will start doing shifts this week as we have to compensate for sickness absence by front line staff. A lot of our normally face to face support for isolated and struggling people in the community (usually taking place in peopleís homes) is now happening by phone and video call which is not ideal, but it does mean that we can maintain contact with people through the crisis.

We are expecting a large reduction in fundraising income, which is understandable as you described, groups are not meeting, schools and churches are closed. Itís encouraging to see that people do still find ways to fundraise with things like virtual discoís and other ideas which Iím sure will flesh out in the coming weeks. If the Inner Wheel members do feel there is anything they can do to support the charity and donate to your JustGiving page it would be very much appreciated as the financial impact of Corona on our income and the needs of the people we support will be significant. The donation from the Rotary Club of Deal is very gratefully received!

Wishing you all good health, safety and peace of mind. Rachel.