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On Wednesday 17th April, Brighter Futures’ Hanley Connect officially celebrated its’ first anniversary. Over the last 12 months, the service funded by Stoke-on-Trent City Council after a successful bid for government funding through the Rough Sleeping Initiative 2022-2025, has helped over 700 individuals facing homelessness to access support and find accommodation.

Past and present customers came together with colleagues from key partner organisations to celebrate the important milestone with a buffet lunch provided by Brighter Futures’ Compass Kitchen. Guests also enjoyed a very tense game of bingo and heard several heartfelt speeches from the Hanley Connect team and customers.

The event showcased the significant impact of Hanley Connect in changing lives and creating opportunities for a better future. There was a feeling of community and shared achievement as customers celebrated their individual journeys and colleagues recognised their collective hard work in addressing the issues of homelessness. The celebration not only acknowledged past accomplishments but also served as a symbol of hope for the future, as the team look forward to another year of collaboration and teamwork with partners to make a positive impact on the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

Marie Meaney and Heidi Pedley, the Operational Manager and Deputy Manager of Hanley Connect provided a joint statement:

“We are immensely proud of the work we do at Hanley Connect and are so glad to have been able to celebrate this with colleagues from 48 partnership organisations as well as 33 customers. The support of both our customers and partners, helps us to continue our mission to make a positive impact on the lives of people experiencing homelessness.

On behalf of the Hanley Connect team, we would like to personally thank Expert Citizens for their kind donations of games which we will use to expand the service as we plan to host a range of groups and activities on weekday afternoons.

We would also like to say a huge thank you to JCB and GMB for their donation of money, food and clothing but also for arranging and funding the redecoration of the hub.

Hanley Connect has been a much-needed lifeline for the homeless community in Stoke-on-Trent as it provides a warm space and emotional and practical support. We now look at growing the service and can’t wait to see what the next 12 months will bring!”

Daniel Baker, Brighter Futures’ Director of Operations, said:

“We were delighted that so many customers and partners attended our first year anniversary of Hanley Connect to celebrate what has been achieved over the last twelve months. Brighter Futures was happy to be chosen to mobilise and deliver this key service for those who are rough sleeping in Stoke-on-Trent on behalf of Stoke-On-Trent Council. Dovetailing closely with our existing rough sleeper outreach service, the level of engagement and successful outcomes to date has significantly exceeded all our expectations. We are grateful that partners have got behind this new venture and worked with us to support rough sleepers who have attended Hanley Connect”

Cllr Chris Robinson, cabinet member for housing, regeneration and planning at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, added: “Facilities like Hanley Connect are absolutely vital in helping to support the most vulnerable members of our communities. Our teams work extremely hard to support individuals experiencing serious and complex issues by ensuring they have a warm and safe space to stay and access to much-needed support services. We are grateful to Brighter Futures for all of the fantastic work they continue to deliver in the city.”

Categories: Homelessness

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