Real change, not loose change

Real change Oct 2017 web banner

Cllr Terri Reid_portrait_150

“We were overwhelmed but not surprised by the support and compassion to help those people sleeping on the borough’s streets through the Real Change campaign. While, collectively, we have made a huge difference to the lives of many people through this generosity, homelessness still exists in 2017 and we need everyone to work together to best support those who are most in need. Together we can help make a difference and improve the lives of more people who have, for whatever reason, found themselves in the traumatic and deeply saddening situation where they are living on the streets."

Cllr Terri Reid, Chair of the Social Inclusion Partnership

Real Change not Loose Change 2017 is launched

Real change launch 2017- web

In 2016 thousands of pounds worth of money, hundreds of hours’ worth of volunteer time and boxes upon boxes of food and items donated helped make a big difference to those people sleeping on the borough’s streets.

Thanks to the generosity, kindness and goodwill of everyone who supported the Social Inclusion Partnership’s Real Change not Loose Change campaign, the Night Light winter night shelter opened for the first time in the borough, providing a hot meal, a bed for the night and support for those sleeping rough during the coldest months of the year. Held in the town centre churches, five nights a week, the night shelter helped 32 people who might have found themselves sleeping on the streets to take steps to secure accommodation, following regular visits to the night shelter.

Thanks to fundraising, the Camrose Day Centre has also trialled a third day of opening on a Friday and recently opened a new shower room for visitors to wash during opening hours, a much appreciated and well used addition to the centre.

Because of this support and because it made such a difference Real Change not Loose Change is back for 2017 and here’s how you can help.

You can support the 'Real Change' campaign by

  • Contacting Streetlink on 0300 500 0914 or visit if you are worried about someone sleeping rough.
  • Support local homelessness charities and services by donating time or money as an alternative to giving direct to people on the streets.
  • Donate at to help raise funds for:
    • the Night Light winter shelter
    • a continuation of the third day of opening at the Camrose Day Centre
    • safe storage for people sleeping rough to keep their personal possessions in.

Other ways you can help

There are many ways you can help be it donating your spare change to local homelessness charities, groups and services, giving your time to volunteer, or donating food or bedding.

Give your time

Becoming a Night Light winter shelter volunteer

The Night Light winter shelter scheme will offer shelter and a warm meal for up to 15 rough sleepers at various venues in Basingstoke from Friday 1 December to Wednesday 28 February and volunteers are needed for various shifts to support the successful running of the project.

Evening volunteers are needed between 5pm and 10pm to help the coordinator in a supporting role; this would include welcoming the guests, setting out tables, participating in general activities, ensuring the smooth running while guests enjoy a cooked meal and relaxation during the evening.

Overnight supervisory volunteers will be needed from 10pm to 7am for a partly waking night, ensuring a peaceful time while guests sleep.

Morning volunteers are needed from 6am to 9am to cook and serve breakfast before guests leave at 7.30am and then to help pack up equipment ready for collection, clean the church hall, leaving everything clean and tidy before departure.

New volunteers must be registered in time for mandatory training on Thursday 21 October 9.15 am to 1pm or 26 October 7pm to 10 pm at the Sarum Hill Community Church.

Please contact the volunteer coordinator Lorraine Anstey on

Volunteering to cook for the Camrose Centre

Could you cook a good hot lunch for up to 30 people on a Tuesday and a Thursday in a small kitchen? The Camrose Centre offers support to homeless and insecurely housed people in Basingstoke. We need regular volunteers who could commit to providing lunches on Tuesday, Thursday and/or Friday. You can do one day a week - or more if you like!

If you are aged over 21, have experience of catering for large groups, and are good with a small budget – and of course if you are a good cook – this is a great opportunity to make a big difference in the lives of homeless people! Please contact Claire Simpson on

Volunteering at the Camrose Centre

To donate your time, call 01256 327858 or email

Volunteering at May Place House - a 20-bed direct access hostel

To donate your time call 01256 840110 or email or visit

Volunteering at First Point

First Point is a homelessness prevention service supporting people to remain in their homes. To donate your time please email or call 01256 423805.

Volunteering with the MEAM Outreach Team

A service for people who are living on the streets, aiming to change lives. To donate your time, call 01256 423821 or email For more information

Volunteer Centre

There are many hundreds of different ways to help the whole community in Basingstoke and Deane through volunteering your time, once a week, once a month or even once a year! To find out more, including ways to help rough sleepers and the vulnerably housed, as well as youth, older people, the environment, disabled groups and much more, please check out or call the Volunteer Centre on 01256 423850.

Donate your spare change

Donate at to help raise funds for the Night Light winter shelter, a continuation of the third day of opening at the Camrose Day Centre and safe storage for people sleeping rough to keep their personal possessions in.

Alternatively support other local homelessness charities and services by donating time or money. Please consider doing this as an alternative to giving direct to people on the streets. The support provided by local homelessness services and charities will go directly towards helping to prove help, support, food and a safe place to stay for those most in need.

Donate food, bedding, clothing

To donate non-perishable food, sleeping bags, bedding, clothing contact the Camrose Centre at 01256 327858 or email

About the Social Inclusion Partnership

The Social Inclusion Partnership in Basingstoke and Deane is working towards real change

Seeing someone sleeping on the streets might raise a mixture of feelings and thoughts. You might be wondering how someone became homeless, or not quite know what to do or how best to help. The Social Inclusion Partnership, which includes a range of specialist, voluntary, statutory, faith and community groups, charities and people with experience of rough sleeping, has some suggestions and insights in how we can all help.

In November 2016 an official count estimated 26 people were sleeping on the borough’s streets at any one time. Residents and businesses can help make a real difference by giving spare change or time to provide the right support to those who need it most. This will be given to specialist support agencies who will work directly with people sleeping rough. Their aim is to reduce homelessness and rough sleeping locally.

‘Real Change, Not Loose Change’ aims to raise awareness of homelessness in the borough and how people can support efforts to reduce this. The aim is to provide care, give the help to find housing, support and help people get back on track financially and emotionally. Many people living regularly on the streets are socially isolated. They may have experienced significant traumas in their lives such as bereavement, childhood abuse and PTSD. Their lives have spiralled, with financial difficulties, relationship break down and increased alcohol and or drug use.

Thank you for your support.

Homelessness image 2017-web

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