Hundreds of Worksop people left sleeping rough last year, new stats reveal

Photo Ian Robinson'Homeless at Christmas'Posed by model
Photo Ian Robinson'Homeless at Christmas'Posed by model

Hundreds of Worksop people were left sleeping rough last year, according to new statistics.

Figures released by Hope Community Services to the Guardian revealed that as many as 300 people, including seven children, were left homeless in 2014.

The charity on Queen Street said that it was forced to turn some people away due to demand.

“It is heartbreaking,” said Alan Diggles, chief executive at Hope.

“Unfortunately I think we will see the same this year with demand actually increasing.”

“I think Worksop does have a problem but it is not unique, it is the same in Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster and other areas.”

The charity, which has around 24 employed staff and 27 volunteers, says the reasons that lead to people becoming homeless are a change in benefits, bedroom tax, unemployment, lack of affordable housing and breakdown of relationships.

“It can be anyone from toddlers to babies who are with their mothers who might have been in an abusive relationship,” Mr Diggles said.

“We find we are most busiest when the weather is bad. When the weather is better people are more happier to try and find somewhere for themselves.”

Two out of three people who sought help from Hope progressed to new accomodation through a ‘planned move’ whether that be with friends, family or private rented.

“We work with people to try and move people on in suitable ways. If someone has alcohol problems or has been abused then we will work with them to help them get through that,” Mr Diggles added.

One man who was in desperate need of Hope’s help was Ian. He had split-up with his wife and has been sleeping rough for over a week.

Ian, who stayed in Hope’s hostel for several months, said: “If it wasn’t for Hope I would probably still be on the streets. The staff are really approachable and I felt like I could put my trust in them to support me through a really tough time in my life.”

For more information visit www.hopeservices.org.uk.