As part of our holistic service to local homeless & vulnerable people to see their lives restored and transformed a vital part of our service is our partnership with the DWP
As well as helping people to get off the streets and into appropriate accommodation we seek to encourage and support people through providing accredited education and support onto benefits and then into employment. We partner very closely on a weekly basis with a local DWP Homeless Outreach Adviser called Suzanne. Suzanne is a vital part of our service and an indispensable catalyst in our ability to help people access benefits and then transition into a working life. Someone who has recently greatly benefitted from and seen his life turned around by this aspect of our support work is our member, Dave.
Whilst it can be controversial in the current environment it is vital for the wellbeing of our members that such partnerships exist and stories like this are given a chance to become a reality….
Dave had this to say as we spoke over a cup of tea this morning – ‘I had shut down completely in the run up to becoming homeless and then just utterly closed up when it happened. It was one of the best things that has ever happened to me that I walked into Ace of Clubs on my first day on the streets and met Suzanne. I feel like a whole new me that I forgot existed has sprung into life. I am excited again about my future….’ Here is a short little clip above where Dave tells us in his own words how things have gone….
Our new Ace supporter from the Ropes & Gray team gives and takes a few uppercuts in a charity bout to raise money towards our work supporting homeless and vulnerable people!
This courageous young athlete in the blue is called Onyema. He took the unconventional route to raising an amazing £300 in support of our work with local homeless and vulnerable people by…. erm, knocking someone out! This was Onyema’s first ever match and he felt he wanted to do it for Ace of Clubs after hearing about our work back in August at his own work place. I visited Onyema’s offices where he works as a young lawyer at our supporting partner firm, Ropes & Gray. I spent the afternoon sharing with his team about the challenges and rewards we are experiencing day to day here at Ace of Clubs as we currently support 120 people per day. On a daily basis we are providing services such as healthy food, clothing, laundry, showers, education, employment support and so forth. Onyema was moved by what he heard and saw and was inspired to do something about it and boy did he do that!
Last week Onyema came along to Ace of Clubs and volunteered with us along with a few of his Ropes & Gray colleagues. It was a really fantastic and fun day of real genuine help from a group of people who genuinely are seeking to understand and engage with the hardships and hopes of our members. As our centre manger, Sarah and volunteer, Willem put it – ‘Onyema and the whole team brought such positivity and really brightened up the day’. After his day with us Onyema had this to say ‘It was a great pleasure to come down to the club today and spend time with everyone, it’s such good work Ace of Clubs are doing, hopefully we’ll be there again soon!’
We are very thankful to Onyema for dedicating his first competetive match to raising great awareness and funds which go directly towards helping those in our city much less fortunate than ourselves. We also wish to say a great big thank you to our partner Ropes & Gray for their on-going support and helpful insight into what we are trying to achieve – the transformation of vulnerable lives in our city!