It was seven years ago that HHCP Founder Andrew Smith began helping rough sleepers and the homeless community in Hull. In this interview he shares more about how HHCP has blossomed into a fully registered charity, with over 15 volunteers.

In the first six months of this year, HHCP has held 216 homeless presentations, engaged with rough sleepers 768 times, found temporary accommodation for 34 people, and supported 29 people and families into independent living. Thanks to the fantastic support of others, we have managed to donate over 3,500 bundles of toys, items and clothing to families and children, as well as delivering 146 food parcels to those in need.

It’s safe to say that we’ve been pretty busy. So, how did it all begin?

“After leaving the armed forces and separating from my partner, I decided that I wanted to do something worthwhile and bring about change,” says Andrew.

“On my birthday, I asked for money from friends and family in order to buy food and drink for people in need. And it all started from there really. I began to do a Christmas collection for local shelters and rough sleepers. People would send me donations of food and clothes and I would sort them and take them to those that needed them.”

“After three or four years of doing this, the demand got quite high, so I set up a Facebook page to deal with a number of people getting in touch with me to make donations. I had my first volunteer join me around this time too. It just sort of snowballed, there was no grand plan to form a charity, it all just happened naturally.”

HHCP became a registered charity in May 2016, which greatly benefitted the cause.

“It’s been a massive change,” explains Andrew. “Being registered has opened so many doors for us and allowed us to look at more funding opportunities and work with so many more partners. We have been able to broaden our reach too, exploring and learning about all different aspects of homelessness, such as children, care leavers and vulnerable women.”

“In the last eighteen months, we have focused on forming the organisation and really building on what we have so that we can continue its legacy for a long time.”

As for the future of HHCP, Andrew says:

“We’re continuing to grow as a charity, introducing new services to our arsenal and joining forces with more partnerships, such as the Humber Modern Slavery Partnership. All I can say is watch this space!”

If you would like to get involved with HHCP, email us at info@hullhomeless.co.uk.