Helping to End Furniture Poverty and Homelessness as two Liverpool Charities provide starter packs for those in emergency accommodation

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Crisis Skylight Merseyside have administered the Liverpool City Council Winter COVID-19 grant to purchase starter packs for over 170 people who are in emergency accommodation.

Crisis Skylight Merseyside have administered the Liverpool City Council Winter COVID-19 grant to purchase starter packs for over 170 people who are in emergency accommodation. Fellow local charity FRC, who provide contract standard furniture across the UK and are headquartered in Liverpool, have a mission to End Furniture Poverty. They were asked to supply the packs which contained all the essentials such as duvets, bedding, cutlery, crockery and a microwave, to enable people to be self-sufficient.

Following the advent of COVID-19, there was a continued central government push to get ‘everyone in’ and aimed to alleviate rough sleeping. This grant was the continuing arm of this pledge from Liverpool City Council to support those in emergency accommodation through the winter months. Part of the grant has been used to provide support for payment of utility bills and the rest for the provision of these starter packs.

Working locally to support each other Crisis and FRC have used the Liverpool City Council grant to gift starter packs to those individuals most in need in our City whilst they are staying in emergency accommodation. The idea is to assist those living in bed and breakfasts to eat in their rooms due to the lack of cooking facilities available in this type of temporary accommodation and the risk COVID-19 poses to communal eating.

These items are theirs to keep for when they move on to more permanent accommodation to help get them started with some of the essentials they will require.

FRC are a not-for-profit social enterprise who have a mission to support local people through providing employment opportunities as well as training programmes which are offered to those who are long-term unemployed. The starter pack items are part of the FRC Group offering who provide all manner of contract standard furniture on a national basis to housing associations, Council Local Welfare Provisions, Sheltered Accommodation and charities alike.

Helen White, Director at FRC said, “Crisis approached us with a request for basic starter-pack items with a tight deadline for delivery. A lot of the items FRC provide are available on a five-day turnaround and all are contract standard, so they will last as well as meet fully compliant safety guidelines – all bedding is CRIB 5 certified for example, meaning it has been tested to pass UK Fire Regulations. Crisis do an amazing job in their mission to end homelessness and we are proud to have helped in some small way to making the lives of those in emergency accommodation that little bit better.”

Paul Harris, Progression Coach at Crisis said, “We approached FRC Group mid-February as LCC had been awarded a budget from central government to set up a winter allowance for people living in emergency accommodation and required a large amount of starter pack items. We wanted to work with a fellow Liverpool charity who could provide high quality items with a quick turnaround. By the first week in March, FRC had supplied 170 microwaves, kettles, dinner and bedding sets to 8 B&B’s across the city, helping us at Crisis to help those most in need. Giving people packs for use now, which are also theirs to keep for when they move into their own accommodation, ensures recipients are empowered and maintain dignity which is one of Crisis’ core values. FRC have been brilliant in terms of responsiveness and helping us to help those in furniture poverty”