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You are here now : Julian House ⁄ Articles by: Kayleigh Reed

Appeal to Bath Hotels & Property Owners

2020 April 1 by

Julian House is calling on property owners who are sitting with empty rooms and even whole buildings to consider allowing homeless and other vulnerable individuals to make use of this accommodation.

Up to now the charity has been able to maintain all of its key services for clients, including its 29 hostel beds, the extra winter accommodation (Safesleep) and all its supported housing projects.  So far cases of precautionary self-isolation have been few but it is expected that this will increase significantly over the next few weeks.  When this happens there will be almost no capacity to put clients in single occupancy accommodation.

Cecil Weir is the charity’s Fundraising Director – “These are unprecedented times for everyone.  Everything has been turned on its head and the new normal is very challenging.  Although we all hope that things will get better soon the reality is that it is likely to become more difficult.  We are at full stretch at the minute and we can foresee a need for extra single occupancy accommodation for clients with low support needs and others needing precautionary self-isolation.  This in turn will free up our other existing supported housing.

One of the consequences of Covid – 19’s arrival is tourism falling off a cliff and empty properties.  We are hoping that owners will get in touch and we can come to a suitable arrangement – with Julian House managing any clients who are place there.”

If you have any queries or can help please contact Roanne on roanne.wootten@julianhouse.org.uk

In addition to extra accommodation Julian House is also asking for financial support from the wider community.  The likely impact of the virus is estimated to be over £200,000 on the charity’s income – with cancelled events and the closure of its charity shops.

“It is very hard to credit, that something we hadn’t heard of 10 weeks ago should have such a dramatic impact on all our lives.  Ordinarily this soon after Christmas we would not be asking supporters to get their cheque books out and for online banking transfers but our need is significant. 

A dedicated appeal has been set up at www.justgiving.com/campaign/JulianHouse-CoronavirusFund 

As ever we are indebted to all our supporters for helping us to change the lives of some of the most vulnerable and marginalised members of society.  Right now they need our support even more.”

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Increased incidents of Domestic Abuse

2020 April 1 by

Whilst we’re being told that staying at home is our safest option, for many this isn’t the case. For people with an abusive partner, lockdown means captivity. Two women are killed every week by a current or former partner in England and Wales alone. For the estimated 1.6 million women and 786,000 men who experienced domestic abuse in England and Wales last year, the Coronavirus isn’t the biggest threat they are facing.

Increase in domestic abuse reports

Over the last two weeks, Avon and Somerset police force have already reported a 20.9% increase in domestic violence incidents, with other regional police reporting similar findings. Now, more than ever, is a time to look out for your neighbour. If you hear or see anything please report it and in an emergency call 999.

For further information and help call Women’s Aid on 0808 2000 247 or email our domestic abuse team on renew@julianhouse.org.uk. Other local services are Southside – 01225 331243 and Voices – 01225 420249

Julian House domestic abuse refuge and female supported housing

Despite the Coronavirus, which has affected all of our services, we have been working hard to keep the Julian House domestic abuse refuge open in BANES and our women’s house in Exeter fully supported. These are a lifeline for the 15 women and the 14 children currently staying there at this time. (This figure will increase this week with new families needing support).

While they may be away from their abusive partner, life in refuge is difficult enough at the best of times but social distancing and self-isolation have made it nigh on impossible.

Amanda Movsesian in the Julian House domestic abuse team, said:

“Families live in one bedroom (an adult and up to 4 children). They have communal kitchens and bathrooms so social distancing is a challenge; only two of the Julian House refuges in BANES have gardens.

The refuges do not have WiFi or computers so the myriad of helpful resources for both children and adults cannot be accessed, including school portals for homework. The families are unable to have friends or family deliver food or essential items to their door as, obviously, the addresses are kept strictly confidential.

All of these complications ensure that vulnerable women, men and children living in refuge feel even more isolated than normal. The families are already coping with PTSD, anxiety and depression all of which are hugely heightened by the everyday stress and trauma of the current climate.”

The small team are working hard to ensure we can support our families as best as possible, and are facing an increase in referrals.

Please help us by donating to our Corornavirus Appeal. Help us keep our life saving services open during these difficult times.

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Coronavirus: we urgently need your help

2020 March 17 by

Imagine living on the streets, already vulnerable, with little access to washing facilities and without a safe space to go.  On top of this, hearing the threat of the Coronavirus and the need to keep clean and self-isolate seems an almost impossible task for the many individuals we support.    

The impact of the Coronavirus outbreak is starting to have a real impact on the services we provide. Whilst we continue to work hard delivering our projects, the reality of staff shortages, getting hold of certain supplies and access to other key services is a real threat.  

We are determined to do all that we can so that our clients and volunteers, particularly the most vulnerable are supported. With the worsening of the Coronavirus pandemic, this is becoming more and more difficult and we need your help. 

We have had to postpone or cancel many of our forthcoming fundraising events, and many of our supporters have had to do the same. This will have a drastic impact on the voluntary income we use to support our projects.  

How can you help?  

  • Please support our Coronavirus support fund so that we can undertake deep cleaning where necessary, hardship payments for those who have difficulties with their benefits and purchasing extra supplies of towels, sanitiser and bulk cleaning products.  Phone credits so that we can help clients to stay in touch with support workers and health professionals. Plus anything else that will ease the impact on clients including food for clients who have to self-isolate. https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/JulianHouse-CoronavirusFund 
  • Consider setting up a regular gift so that we can plan for the long term future in these times of uncertainty  Standing Order form 
  • It is likely that some of our stalwart volunteers are going to have to self- isolate which  means that we need more volunteers to step forward to help  – volunteering@julianhouse.org.uk  
  • Hand sanitiser& towels are desperately needed. Please donate any spares you have so we can help vulnerable men and women on the streets who have little access to washing facilities. Please deliver to Manvers St Hostel, Manvers St, Bath BA1 1JW or Exeter Bike Workshop, 17 Market St, Exeter EX1 1BW, from 8am – 6pm Monday to Friday and Saturday 9am – 5pm. 

The situation is changing all the time and any significant updates will be found on this page. 

Thank you so much for your ongoing support for the work we do. We couldn’t do it without you. 

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B&NES COVID-19 Homeless Response

2020 March 13 by

The Bath & North East Somerset Homeless Partnership met yesterday (12 March) to discuss mitigations should Coronavirus (COVID-19) spread and affect rough sleepers and others in housing need.

There is work still to be done, but good progress was made towards ensuring local charities and public services will be able to help people with a housing need if they are affected by coronavirus. This includes making sure everyone has their most basic needs met if they are in self-isolation, particularly ensuring they have food. Also discussed were contingency arrangements for alternative provision for rough sleepers if current provision is not available or is overloaded.

The Homeless Partnership will continue to meet weekly, where possible, and have put in place arrangements to ensure full and open communication between all the agencies involved, including a dedicated WhatsApp group.

If you have any questions about this, please direct them in the first instance to Roanne Wootten, Chair of the Homelessness Partnership on homelesspartnership@julianhouse.org.uk

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Additionally one of the unfortunate consequences of the panic buying which has gone on is that agencies dealing with some of the most vulnerable members of society cannot access supplies of hand sanitizer – vital for those who haven’t got the luxury of a home bathroom to wash.

If you have any spare, please consider donating a bottle to our services. Please drop off donations to our office at 55 New King Street, Bath.

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Big Exeter Sleep-Out Star Fundraiser Speaks

2020 March 11 by

Star fundraiser ⭐️ Chris has raised an incredible £1180.73 for the Big Exeter Sleep-Out 2020. Read on to learn Chris’s reasons for supporting Julian House and why he was motivated to raise so much for the cause.

I had a great Christmas with my family at home with good food and good cheer. I’m really conscious of others who may have had a different experience of the holiday season, including the many homeless people who suffer in so many ways all year round. I came across the Big Exeter Sleep-Out event and it struck me as one tiny thing I could do.

Because of the brilliant work they do, I wanted to raise money for Julian House. I’ve worked in social housing and with homelessness – as a residential volunteer in a young homeless persons’ community, I was a homelessness officer for large city councils, a peer education worker for Shelter, a manager of a high support homeless hostel and community support services, and a commissioner for street homelessness and complex needs services.

I know Julian House are a great organisation who are doing life-changing (and often life-saving) work across the South West. They need as much support as possible in these hugely challenging times of increasing numbers and complexity of their service users, combined with the sad impacts of austerity.

It is clear that outreach teams, winter night shelters, specialist ex-offenders’ and women’s supported housing, Housing First projects etc., all of which are provided by Julian House in Exeter (and wider), can be of immense value to individuals who not only are particularly vulnerable right here and now, but all too often have experienced horrendous traumas in childhood and throughout their lives. Like all of us, they deserve safety, shelter, support, and all the “hierarchy of needs”…

The other reason is more personal. Despite the time I have spent working in this sector, I’ve never joined a sleep-out before! I’m so fortunate never to have been homeless in any form, let alone on the street. At two points in my life – following a marriage break-up overseas and a serious illness – I very easily could have been, were it not for the loving willingness and ability of my family and my partner to look after me. “There but for the grace of God” isn’t quite the right term, but you know what I mean! It really could happen to any of us.

Julian House are rightly explicit in saying that spending one night under the stars could not possibly replicate what it is like to be homeless and sleeping on the streets. After the Big Exeter Sleep-Out you can go home, have a warm bath, have a nice breakfast and chat to your family or friends about your experience. You could perhaps even go back to bed to catch up on the sleep you lost the night before. Plus, you have a safe place to return to, without risk of attack from associates or strangers. You may not be dealing with a background of a childhood in ‘care’, being repeatedly raped as a teenager, enslaved in county lines exploitation, have multiple addictions, significant physical and mental health issues, criminal record, lack of family, purpose, hope… I don’t want to generalise – everyone of course is different – but I’ve seen this kind of scenario and worse so many times.

Charity sleep-outs are not just well-meaning tokenism, they are a vital way to raise awareness and funds for the most vulnerable and marginalised members of our society. I found it immensely rewarding raising these funds for Julian House and I would recommend participation in the Big Exeter Sleep-Out to anyone!

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Choose us as your Co-op charity

2020 March 4 by

We’re delighted that Julian House has been chosen to benefit from the Co-op Local Community Fund.

Our project

We’re raising funds for our Build a Bike Courses that take place in our Bike Workshops in Bath, Bristol, Trowbridge and Exeter. These six week workshops help our clients learn new skills, gain confidence, and improve their well being.

During the course, our clients learn how to build a bike and obtain new transferable skills (including teamwork and time management), confidence, work experience and qualifications. Many then go on to volunteering opportunities and employment.

How you can help

To help us raise vital funds, we’ll be relying on Co-op members. When a member buys selected products or services from the Co-op they earn a 5% reward for themselves, with a further 1% for local causes like ours. 

You can select us as your local cause by visiting our page: https://membership.coop.co.uk/causes/33100

If you’re not a member and would like to support us, you can join at your local store or online at www.coop.co.uk.


We really hope that people will visit the website and donate their 1% to us.

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9 year old takes on Easter cycle challenge

2020 February 28 by

9-year-old Chloe Smart from Westbury has organized her own sponsored cycle challenge from Westbury to Bath to raise money for local men and women suffering from homelessness.

The challenge, which is taking place on Tuesday 7th April, will see Chloe and her dad getting sponsored to cycle 25 miles from Westbury White Horse to Julian House’s Bike Workshop in Bath. Along the way, she’s also bringing a bundle of Easter egg donations to give to Julian House and to put a smile on the faces of men and women staying in the charity’s emergency access hostel on Manvers Street.

Chloe, on a practise bike ride.

By growing up around Bath, Chloe has noticed the increase in men and women sleeping rough and wanted to do something to help. After hearing about Jamie Theakston’s Bike Britain Charity Challenge on Heart FM, Chloe wanted to do something similar to help those less fortunate in her local community.

In preparation for the challenge, she said: “I’ve never cycled that far before, so I’ve been practicing cycling along different routes and increasing my distances.  I’ve also been finding out about Julian House and what they do so I can do a presentation at school to raise awareness. I hope to raise around £200 as I would like to provide a warm meal for 30 people, and a bed for the night for someone.”

Chloe and her mum Claire.

Senior Community and Events Fundraiser, Jessica Gay said: It’s brilliant to see Chloe organising her own event to raise awareness and funds to help local men and women suffering from homelessness. Everything she raises will help us support people off the streets, into a safe home and back into education, volunteering and employment. One of the best ways we do this is through our Bike Workshop and our Build a Bike course, so it’s pertinent that Chloe’s cycle challenge ends there. We wish her the best of luck on her challenge.”

To find out more about her challenge and to sponsor Chloe visit her Just Giving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Chloes-cycle-to-bath

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Charity trekkers summit Kilimanjaro

2020 February 25 by

On the morning of Wednesday 12th February, a team of local supporters from Julian House reached the summit of Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro.  Along the way, raising a significant donation towards the charity’s work.

The challenge, which took five days in total, saw the group ascending the equivalent of 4.4 times the height of Ben Nevis and trekking across some of the most spectacular and varied landscapes on Earth. From Kilimanjaro’s rich montane forests filled with amazing flora and fauna, across its other-worldly high-altitude desert, past Kilimanjaro’s cathedral high glaciers, before reaching the crater’s rocky rim and summiting the iconic snowy Uhuru Peak, 5896 metres high.

Jessica Gay from Julian House led the group: “The team did amazingly well.  It was tough.  Although we had great weather, the cold on the way up and on the summit was bitter.  However, our stormy practice weekend in Brecon helped, plus sharing all the experience that we’ve gained from previous treks on the mountain.  An unforgettable experience for everyone and a great boost to Julian House from the sponsorship raised.  Well done all.

A big thank you also to Executive Jet Support for sponsoring the challenge and to Nationwide Bath, Royds Withy King and other local businesses for supporting their colleagues on this epic trek.”

Julian House has been organising the event for 20 years and has built up an impressive track record of getting its teams to the summit.  Preparations normally include a training weekend in the Brecon Beacons and thorough briefings about what to expect from the extreme altitude and how to cope with the inevitable effects.

However even with the best preparations in the world the vagaries of altitude and how it affects each individual means that it is by no means guaranteed that everyone will cope.  The fact that all 11 of the group made it to the crater rim of the dormant volcano was quite an achievement – with 10 making the extra two-hour traverse around the rim to the absolute summit at Uhuru Peak.

Because access to the mountain is strictly managed, plans are already in hand for the next trek which is likely to take place in the autumn of 2021. Register your interest early here, or by contacting Jessica on jessica.gay@julianhouse.org.uk.

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Big Exeter Sleep-Out 2020 Success

2020 February 19 by

We hosted our 2nd annual Big Exeter Sleep-Out on Friday 31st January at the home of Exeter City FC, St James Park.

Event organiser, Senior Community & Events Fundraiser for Julian House, Sarah Lakey, said:

“We are under no illusions that sleeping out for just one night can replicate what it is like to be homeless. Whilst we can provide an environment where participants can experience the discomfort and hardship of sleeping rough on concrete flooring, what we can’t replicate is the loneliness, isolation, anxiety and sometimes the chaos that comes with being homeless.”

We had 80 people ‘bed down’ for the night with cardboard and a sleeping bag to keep them warm. The youngest was 10 years old Ava who said, “no one deserves to be homeless”. Our eldest sleeper, Sue aged 76yrs old, often helps the homeless community in Exeter through various volunteering roles. Sue wanted to experience what it felt like to sleep outside during the winter months.

It was a privilege to have The Lord Mayor of Exeter visit the event to find out more about the services and projects we deliver in Exeter.

Sarah went on to say; “With the event generously being sponsored by The Exeter, every penny raised by the event will go back into supporting the work we do in the local homeless community. I must say a big thank you to Exeter City Football Club and Exeter City Community Trust for supporting the event and to Rapid Relief Team for providing breakfast for our sleepers and those who are currently staying in the safe sleep shelter.”

Sponsorship raised from the event will help to fund the charity’s work in the county, including its assertive outreach service and Nightstop Devon which receives no government funding.

“It a shocking statistic that the life expectancy for long term homeless is just 45. That’s something we want to change. Our outreach teams work tirelessly to get people off the streets – connecting them with the services which will address the issues which have put them in such a vulnerable position. Likewise, our fantastic Nightstop Devon hosts provide same day emergency accommodation for young people – very often the critical support which stops them becoming street homeless.”

Participants left on Saturday morning knowing they have helped some of the most marginalised members of their community.

The event has raised £16,267 for the local homeless community and will go a long way to continue to support our projects and services in the area.

We are already planning another sleep-out event in Devon which will be held in November and we plan to return to St James Park in January 2021. Keep an eye on our Exeter specific Facebook page and website events page for more information plus an exciting new summer event to be announced soon!

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