Work of borough-based homeless charity is recognised with reward

THURROCK-based homelessness charity, Friends of Essex & London Homeless (FOELH) has been recognised with an award.

It has been announced as the winner of the ‘Founder’s Choice Award 2019’ in the Hotels That Help 2019 Vote Contest, finishing fourth out of 24 homelessness charities from across the UK.

FOELH received almost 500 votes from the local community and were also chosen by the founder of Hotels That Help to receive £500 funding.

Hotels That Help CIC, is the world’s first not-for-profit travel booking website. They have no paid staff, no offices and 100% of the money they make is used to help people escape homelessness.

Customers looking to book a trip visit HotelsThatHelp.co.uk and are redirected to an industry-leading provider, such as Booking.com or SkyScanner. When a booking is placed, a donation is generated for a UK homelessness charity at no cost to the customer; there are no booking fees or added costs of any kind.

Founder Thomas Nevitt is determined to make up for the significant lack of funding available to homelessness charities in the UK. “I have seen just how damaging homelessness can be, especially for young families. This is a national problem, which has been getting more serious every year. Far too many [homelessness] charities are struggling to cope with the increased demand for their services. That’s why Hotels That Help was established.”

Mr Nevitt will be visiting Friends of Essex & London Homeless charity in September to present their award and said: “I chose [FOELH] to receive the funding because of the commitment and dedication exhibited by their team of 30 plus volunteers. They’re doing really fantastic work for the community.”

FOELH have been running a soup kitchen in London since 2016 – and one in Grays for more than a year – and also support the homeless community by providing sleeping bags and other essentials.

A spokesman for FOELH said: “We are just normal folk trying to make a difference. The charity relies entirely on donations and the public’s generosity to continue operations. “I’m not sure how we do it each week, but we do! This funding is thus warmly welcomed by FOELH and will help with the costs of providing 300 meals a week.”

For information on how you can help the homeless community, without making a donation or sacrificing your time, visit: HotelsThatHelp.co.uk/how