A new group has been launched to help the homeless and those sleeping rough in Wellingborough.
Wellingborough Homeless Forum is hoping to bring groups and organisations together to prevent homelessness as well as provide advice and help to those that are homeless or about to become homeless.
A meeting at the Daylight Centre last week saw numerous organisations represented, including many church groups, Wellingborough Council, CAB, the Job Centre, Support Northants, Teen Challenge, the Street Pastors, Glamis Hall, the police and many individuals.
The forum has now set up four sub-groups to look at a range of issues, including an urgent needs group.
This will have a specific focus on addressing the urgent housing needs of people in the town, particularly rough sleepers, and looking into setting up a local nightshelter.
There will also be an information group that will share information about current services and how people can access these as well as volunteer help, food runs and co-ordinating appeals.
Marion Turner-Hawes, the forum’s deputy chairman, said: “In all cases the forum is committed to working in partnership with all communities, partners, councils and health bodies to help achieve these important aims, and we hope many more people and groups from across the whole borough of Wellingborough will join us.
“We heard from the local police that as well as there being a number of rough sleepers in Wellingborough town there are also significant pockets of rough sleepers in many other areas of the borough.
“We hope to collect more information about this and other needs as we all work together.”
The forum is creating a calendar of support which will be available over the Christmas period to help people get access to a warm place in the daytime, food, clothing and any available advice and support they need.
Marion added: “We will identify gaps in the ‘calendar of help’ and ask for support to fill those.
“We may need volunteers for a task, or help from local community or faith groups who may open up a church or community room for a few hours to provide some support over the holiday period, with many usual places of help being shut.
“If you have anything on that could help, or feel inspired to arrange an opportunity for people to come together please let us know as soon as possible.”
The calendar is identifying support from now until Sunday, January 7.
For more information about the group, search for Wellingborough Homeless Forum on Facebook.