HARP, the leading homelessness charity in South-East Essex, were visited this week by HM The Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst. On Wednesday, Mrs Tolhurst and her husband Philip were given a tour of HARP’s services by staff, volunteers and trustees from the charity.
During the tour, they were able to witness the breadth of important work that goes on at HARP’s homeless Day Centre, Emergency Night Shelter, women’s hostel White Heather House, and one of HARP’s Complex Needs supported houses.
Mrs Tolhurst said “I am interested in the issue of homelessness across the county. HARP are well known in Essex, and I also know of their work through my involvement with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, which HARP were awarded in 2012. I wanted to learn how HARP’s model is helping people in Southend, and I am hugely impressed with the work I have seen today. HARP’s service is surprisingly extensive, and the number of people they help all year round is astounding”.
Every year, HARP help over 1,000 local people who are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. They provide a full range of services, from help with basic needs like food, clothing and washing facilities, through to long-term supported housing that helps people recover and overcome homelessness for good.
Jackie Bliss, Chief Executive of HARP said “we were delighted to welcome The Lord Lieutenant of Essex and her husband Philip to HARP, to show them first-hand the services that we offer to some of Southend’s most vulnerable people. They were both amazed at the scale and breadth of the service that we offer, and also our ability to make a real, lasting change to people’s lives.”