Armley charity launches crowdfunder to help homeless

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An Armley-based charity has launched a crowdfunder with the Aviva Community Fund to raise desperately needed donations to help the homeless in Leeds.

Vulnerable Citizen Support is aiming to raise at least £15,000 from a mixture of public pledges and donations from Aviva employees.

Next week, selected crowdfunders can be viewed by the insurance giant’s 16,000 UK employees, who have all been gifted £25 to pledge to their selected cause.

The Armley-based organisation hopes the pledges will help it raise the funds to contribute to the wages of another support worker and the rent for land for its container home project.

Vulnerable Citizen Support helps anyone in need from the homeless to struggling families who need food parcels and it runs a food and baby bank and welfare centre in Armley.

It is also building the city’s first container home for the homeless, and may have secured a piece of land to get the project off the ground now that the first home is built.

The micro-homes built from donated shipping containers will provide a lifeline for the homeless, providing self-contained living accommodation for the homeless in Leeds for up to 12 months while Vulnerable Citizen Support delivers an intensive package of support, including employability training and rehabilitation support to help individuals get back on their feet.

The charity also helps with a range of other cases, and is currently trying to fight a deportation order against one of its volunteers Gilberto Das Neves Jardin, who has been living in the UK for 17 years but faces being exiled from the UK.

The charity hopes to meet its target which will pay wages for its team, which are currently mainly volunteers, secure the land for its container home project and expand its homeless outreach service.

Haydn Jessop, Welfare Director of Vulnerable Citizen Support, said:

“In the past year since we opened our welfare centre, we have been inundated by people needing support, in part because of the current pandemic. If we can meet this target, we will be able to help more people – we provided over 105,000 meals to struggling families last year – and transform more lives.”

Support: Josh Ellis (left) with Haydn Jessop of Vulnerable Citizen Support.

The organisation recently helped transform the life of Josh Ellis, who had been sleeping rough for two years until December.

Josh’s life had spiralled out of control after the death of his father, leading to drug addiction and homelessness but in the past six weeks he has been completely clean, has acquired a job and moves into his own home this week.

The charity is calling on Leeds businesses to pledge to the Aviva crowdfunder and in return it will offer promotional opportunities across its social media channels, including its Facebook page which has 16,000 followers and its 3,000 plus Instagram following.

The more pledges that are made before the 23rd February, the higher visibility the charity will have when Aviva employees start pledging their £25 to a chosen cause which will help it meet its target and attract match funding.

Vulnerable Citizen Support’s crowdfunder can be viewed here.

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