HARP, have received a £500 award from Starbucks as part of their 'Red Cup Cheer' campaign, an initiative that celebrates the local charities that mean the most to their customers. The award came as a result of a nomination from Alice Gaudyn from Westcliff, who is a regular visitor to the Southend Starbucks, and knows first-hand the difference that local charity HARP make to people that are homeless as she has been volunteering there for three years.
She helps most weeks at the day centre in York Road where she blends her cooking skills with a listening ear to provide more than just a hot meal for rough sleepers. Alice said “the cooking is the easy part. The hardest bit is seeing people struggle with their emotional issues”.
Alice explained how as a volunteer you get to meet a variety of people and see their whole journey, from the moment they walk through the doors in need of help, right through to when they are ready to move onto independent living and a life full of new prospects. Alice nominated HARP as throughout her time volunteering she has seen the variety of support they provide and how important it is for people that are working so hard to move away from a life on the streets.
HARP, who support over 1,000 people each year rely heavily on donations and support from volunteers like Alice, whose outlook on homelessness is admirable. Simply put Alice says “I treat homeless people like everyone else, because they are just like everyone else; they just don't have a roof over their heads”. This donation will support HARP to continue to provide a range of practical and emotional support that is catered to each individual’s needs. To find out how you can support HARP visit their website at: www.harpsouthend.org.uk or call 01702 615000.