Rachel's blog

Homeless Man on a mission!Homelessness in the news

Posted by Rachel Holliday Mon, February 17, 2014 15:41:21

Ive been following with great interest the story of Christian Nock who set off walking anti clockwise around Britain after finding himself homeless in 2012. He has slept "rough" every night and is heading down towards Cumbria soon! Please check out his page, he blogs about every day of his journey, the highs and the lows and the most wonderful part, the kindness of fellow humans he has met along the way.


Good luck in your quest Christian, I do hope to meet you once you make it to Whitehaven.

Blog on "Benefits Street"Progress and thoughts

Posted by Rachel Holliday Mon, January 27, 2014 09:01:34

I am very proud to know the young lady who has written this very much needed blog. Please read and share. Well done Jodie, a credit to young people.


2013 Homeless FiguresProgress and thoughts

Posted by Rachel Holliday Tue, October 29, 2013 18:42:53

"We don't have homeless people round here". Or so I am told...

I have contacted Copeland Borough Council and Allerdale Borough Council to find out how many people have asked their homeless departmentfor help in 2013.........


Eight Hundred and Forty Six people in West Cumbria have been to their local council to ask for help with homelessness....and the figures are still rising...

Please spread the word and join Time to Change (West Cumbria) Project to do something about it......Those who believe there is “no homeless problem” in our area cannot dispute these very real figures.

Do something today, get in touch www.ttcwestcumbria.org Help us help the homeless…..

CVS Funding FairProgress and thoughts

Posted by Rachel Holliday Fri, October 25, 2013 17:21:15

Just a little update as to my visit to Kendal on Wednesday! I took part in a "Funding Fair". My very first and I was so glad I went! Met face to face with some fantastic people who had invaluable advice for me. I also had a wonderful chat with a lovely lady from the Big Lottery which gave me a real boost to keep going!.

I sat in on a seminar about how to write funding applications and how to evidence the need for my project which I find really helpful.

here is a pic of me rather nervous at the beginning of it all :)
Blog image

Visit to Homeless ProjectProgress and thoughts

Posted by Rachel Holliday Fri, October 25, 2013 16:16:29

Visit to The Wirral Ark.

I had a fascinating visit to a very successful project in Wirral. They run a direct access hostel which can take 21 males and 4 females. They also provide supported accommodation and I had the pleasure of visiting "The Grand Trunk". A converted pub with office base and 6 studio flats above. The staff I met had taken a lot of time to read through my business plan, financials and website.

They had a lot of very helpful advice and ideas. They have also kindly offered to support me from afar! The staff employed at the Wirral Ark are truly inspirational. What these guys don’t know about homelessness isn’t worth knowing! I had in my mind a set way of how my project would look, but since my visit I have been deep in thought about the changes I can, and should, make for the better.

I met with David Harrison who is s a housing manager at the grand trunk. It was a really lovely place. So homely, light and airy. There was client’s art work hanging on the wall and hanging baskets outside. They initially struggled with opposition from the local community as I have, however they worked hard to work with the community to include them. I learned a lot through listening to the creativity in addressing these issues. Now they have members of the local community who initially opposed the idea volunteering!

I was so surprised at how much income the project raised themselves in fundraising. This has inspired me to look within myself to raise funds to get TTC up and running.

Their next mission is the coast to coast bike ride made up of their staff and service users. I have been invited along! I’ll certainly be there to wave them off, but as optimistic as I am, Id struggle to bike around the park never mind 120 miles!! Along with raising money for their project and raising awareness of homelessness, Dave told me about the main benefits to the service users. Some have never even been out of their home town before. They will all be sleeping, eating and experiencing the journey and the achievements together.

Their passion and determination for their project shines through and is infectious.

They have all been so helpful and gave me a real insight into hostel accommodation. They are all in touch regularly wanting to help out as much as possible. Their experience and knowledge is invaluable to me and will help shape our project here in West Cumbria.


Interesting stuff...Homelessness in the news

Posted by Rachel Holliday Tue, September 03, 2013 20:33:50


Lucy's StoryStories about homelessness

Posted by Rachel Holliday Thu, August 29, 2013 21:07:25

My name is Lucy and when I was 15 I met my boyfriend at the time. We fell head over heels in love and we both thought this was the real deal. Our parents tried to stop us from being together but we never let it stop us. Due to this my parents through me out and told me not to come back. I was just 16 when I began sofa surfing. I stayed with people that, at the time, I thought were my friends, but I soon found began to realise they were all alcoholics. There was one man who told me I could stay with him as long as I liked. Then he began to abuse me. I finally picked up the strength to report him. I thought I would finally get the help I needed, but nothing was ever done. Ii was back to square one that night and now I had nowhere at all to go. I wandered the streets all night (my boyfriend and his family had gone away).I went back to the police and as i was a minor they could get me emergency housing, the Police treated me with so much compassion. The council however gave me the keys at midnight and took them back off me at 9am they told me i must have done something wrong to be homeless at that age therefore they couldn't help me. They called my parents who denied they had thrown me out and I wasn’t allowed back. I was so messed up and things got worse when my boyfriend split up with me.

Once this happened my parents let me move back home . It wasn’t long before my boyfriend and I got back together and my parents asked me to leave. This time we went to Blackpool and rented a 1 bed apartment. It was great. We both got jobs and had a place of our own. Things were finally coming together. Unfortunately, after just 3 months the tenancy was terminated as the landlady wanted to sell the flat. We moved back to Whitehaven where my boyfriend moved back into his parents and I moved into a homeless hostel where I lived for 2 years. We finally were offered a council flat together.

In 2008 I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. In 2011 we finally got married and this year I gave birth to our little boy and we bought our own home. Since we have had children we get on really well with our parents now.

I believe that everyone should have somewhere safe to live. I lived in a hostel and I learned all the skills I needed to know for when I finally got my own home. I think everyone should have the same chance as me.

Just an updateProgress and thoughts

Posted by Rachel Holliday Thu, August 29, 2013 21:02:28

Well its been a rollercoaster these past few months and so much has happened. Back in March I went along to meet the team at our Foodbank in Workington. I wanted to know what their views were of homelessness in our area. I was emailed this statement;

Foodbank and the Homeless

Since the Workington Distribution Centre of the North Lakes Foodbank opened in October 2012, we have been acutely aware of the lack of provision for homeless people in West Cumbria. Over the winter, when it was bitterly cold and wet, there were men we helped with food who were sleeping in the bus shelter, in a boat or in a tent (if they were lucky). Recently, a young man had been in a tent for three weeks since his release from prison, as there was no suitable accommodation for him. The temptation to re-offend is great.

People regularly ask if we know of any available rooms. Sadly, at present, the answer is usually “No”.

Fiona (Workington Centre Manager)

Winter will be on us once again shortly and nearly a year on there is still no shelter for the homeless of West Cumbria. Lets pull together and make it happen. If you can offer any help, or have any ideas, please let me know.

Rachel Holliday xxx