On Tuesday afternoon we had a visit from Venetia Wrigley – the High Sheriff of North Yorkshire – who requested to meet the team at Peasholme Charity – to hear about the work we do tackling and preventing homelessness.

Venetia met with Ian and Ray from the housing team for an informal chat about the housing situation in York. They discussed the different types of housing available in the city – from hostels, to shared housing, private rentals and affordability. They talked about how they are anticipating and preparing for a tsunami of homelessness now the eviction ban has ended.

They discussed (anonymously) some of the issues local people face – those in insecure and dangerous housing situations – and how as a small, independent charity we are able to be flexible and work with people at their own pace until a crisis situation is resolved.

Venetia said of their work “It is clear to me that what you’re doing is making a huge difference”.

Catching up at FORTYFIVE Vinyl Café

Charity Manager Yvonne and Financial Coach Alison met with Venetia at the Vinyl Café on Micklegate – to talk about the history of the charity – our goals and achievements – and obstacles to funding. They chatted over coffee about the work of the charity and how it has evolved since it’s foundation in 1988.

Yvonne said “We don’t make promises we can’t keep – we don’t say we’ll do something unless we’re going to do it. We stay with people – we work alongside them – none judgementally, at their own pace – and we help them come to their own conclusions about their situation.”

Alison gave an overview of her vital work giving welfare benefits, debt and budgeting advice to local people – supporting over 200 individuals and families financially impacted by the pandemic.

And to round-up the meeting Venetia joined Ray and Ian on a city-centre street walk for a couple of hours – to learn more about what they do on a daily basis. They chatted with numerous people that the housing team interact with frequently on the streets.

A street walk through central York

We’re really grateful to the High Sheriff for reaching out to us taking the time to visit – it really was a fantastic afternoon and a great opportunity for us to showcase our work.