North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham paid a visit to a local charity last week in support of their work with the homeless.
Clients of the Purfleet Trust were visited by the politician last Wednesday, and were pleased that he took time out of his schedule to go and listen to their stories.
The charity provides aid for single homeless people in Lynn and West Norfolk who are not eligible for help from the council.
A pilot project called the Pathways to Independence (PIP) closed in December due to an end in funding, and Mr Bellingham was keen to help oversee the continuation of the good work of the programme.
The project had been funded for two years by Norfolk County Council, and after an unsuccessful campaign to gain new finances from the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Mr Bellingham helped the charity successfully secure sponsorship from the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Since PIP gained new support, the project has been able to continue its work across East Anglia, with partners in Norwich, Yarmouth and Waveney.
Paula Hall, chief executive of Purfleet Trust, described the project as “innovative”, as it has three hubs across the area which provide more comprehensive care for clients, in order to track their journeys, identify any gaps in progress and to prevent duplication of cases.
During Mr Bellingham’s time at the charity’s offices he was met by those who have already benefitted from the project, which now has funding for another 18 months.
Mrs Hall said: “Mr Bellingham was interested to find out what they got out of the programme, and he wanted to say thank-you to the charity workers for their help in the community.”
He was particularly impressed by the work of Georgie Futter who is the project’s intensive support worker.
Mrs Hall said: “He was really interested in what she has accomplished, as there have also been significant savings because of her input.”
Purfleet Trust charity was set up in 1993 and has since increased its services which now include housing advice, a day centre providing hot meals daily and the opportunity to gain essential life skills.