The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service was presented to our charity on Wednesday 1st September 2021 by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex, Susan Pyper at the Littlehampton Community Hub.
The award is the highest of it’s kind given in the sector across the UK. The award is considered the MBE for volunteer groups, recognising the outstanding service volunteers have made to their local community.
Officially announced back in June 2020, the actual award presentation had been delayed to ensure everyone’s safety. Mrs Pyper, presenting the award on behalf of the Queen, spoke passionately to the volunteers in the audience:
“You are a group of very special people. Very few actually get awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, so it is a very prestigious award. You have set the bar very high… You are a group of ordinary people doing extraordinary things and in this case, I really, really mean it.”
Ten local running enthusiasts are going to put their physical fitness – and courage – to the test by taking to the sea for the first time. The brave runners have announced the ambitious plan to swim a staggering ten miles from Brighton Pier to Worthing Pier on Saturday 18th September.
The Rampion Champions are infectiously enthusiastic about their swim challenge and every week they brave the cold waters to build up their strength and stamina for September’s swim. We really want them to smash their fundraising target of £3,000 and they have surpassed £2,000 already!
Throughout the pandemic Turning Tides’ befriending volunteers have been critical in supporting the growing number of men and women who have become homeless. We are now looking to grow the service significantly to combat the isolation that is often experienced by those having to sleep rough.
As restrictions ease, we are looking to grow our befriending service, to ensure the increasing number of clients needing our services are able to access such a vital source of support across the county. Particularly, we are looking for potential volunteer befrienders in the Horsham area.
Danielle Huet, Volunteer Coordinator at Turning Tides explains; “During the pandemic we have been providing a befriending service to combat the feelings of loneliness that our clients were increasingly experiencing, especially during lockdown. The benefits have been so significant during such a challenging time that we are launching a new befriending drive – to secure more befrienders countywide as part of our Routes to Roots programme.”
At the beginning of the pandemic Run for Heroes, the infamous 5K running challenge, brought more than a million people together – a fantastic fundraiser as well as a viral fitness motivator asking participants to run 5, donate 5 and nominate 5. Following on from the success of the original fundraiser, the nation is once again being encouraged to get active this May – and we have partnered with Run for Heroes encouraging the community to sign up, have fun and support record numbers of homeless men and women at the same time.
5kMay, as the name suggests, is a whole month all about getting fit and hitting that 5km target. It’s not just about running though – participants could walk, roll, skip or even swim 5k if they wish! All that matters is getting your body moving and raising vital funds for people in need.
Phil Heckels of Worthing (38), also known as Hercule Van Wolfwinkle, could never have believed that his “rubbish” drawings would raise over £20,000 in just over a month for our charity. He has been plunged into the limelight – becoming a global sensation overnight! Overwhelming support of this local artist has raised the profile of homelessness in our community and raised an enormous amount to support local men and women who have nowhere to call home.
This April Turning Tides have launched a Crisis Appeal for public support as escalating numbers of local people become homeless.
We are seeing unprecedented numbers of local people lose their livelihoods and their homes, as a result of Covid. We work across the county to support men and women who have become homeless or who are at risk of losing their home. Our services are now under huge pressure and we are appealing for urgent public support as a ‘homeless crisis in our community’ unfolds.
In recent months, an upsurge across the north and south of the county has been reported in the number of people presenting as homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless. In Worthing, for example, the number of people reporting as homeless doubled last year. Further north, Horsham has received a 216% increase in people sleeping rough in the district during the pandemic.
Our charity is currently supporting almost 500 men and women throughout our countywide services. We are appealing to the community to donate whatever they can afford to enable us to provide the support that is so desperately needed by a growing number of people.
An exhibition of evocative images taken by a group of women affected by homelessness has opened in Worthing this Spring.
The exhibition is the result of several month’s partnership working from Turning Tides, Safe in Sussex and the Brighton Women’s Centre. The project is part of the wider initiative to raise the profile of the challenges faced by women experiencing homelessness funded by Homeless Link.
Sharing these poignant photos and expressions with the wider public is fundamental to imparting what it has been like for women experiencing homelessness where we live. As one stark statement emphasizes, “If I’m not of any worth, why would I bother getting better?”.
Turning Tides’ Community Hub in Worthing has never experienced anything like the increasing demand for support received over the last year. Enquiries have been flooding in from concerned local people who have nowhere else to turn.
Turning Tides were delighted to be announced the winners of the Community Award at the inaugural Virtual Business Awards Sussex in December 2020.
After an incredibly challenging year, with a near doubling in the number of individuals accessing their services due to the pandemic, the news brought a real moment of positivity, bringing 2020 to conclusion on an unexpectedly high note.
In a break from traditional ceremonies, the awards evening – which celebrates and recognises business achievements across Sussex – was hosted virtually, bringing together business owners, directors and teams remotely from the comfort of their sofas to network and honour each other’s accomplishments.
Launched on 1st February, Turning Tides were delighted by the success of the new style virtual event which saw over 102 competition entries across the four categories and over 1,500 public votes, with the event reaching almost 9,000 people. Everyone, from babies to pets, neighbours to family, colleagues to congregations were invited to enter the Woolly Hat themed social media photo competition – with some awesome prizes up for grabs!
This month sees us launch our Christmas Appeal – in response to a looming crisis in our community as homelessness escalates this winter. Covid is taking a rising number of jobs and livelihoods, leaving local men and women without a home – just as the harsh winter months and a second wave of the pandemic approach.For those living on the streets, it is hard enough to find food, and stay warm and dry. But Christmas can bring heartache too – it highlights what is missing from a person’s life: family, food, safety, happiness.
At Turning Tides, we are determined that Christmas will not be cancelled. Caring is never cancelled and we want these men and women to know they are not alone. 90% of the people we support are local people – they are our neighbours – and we’d like to show them that their local community cares.
When you live on the streets, you just can’t see how you are going to do anything else with your life. It takes everything out of you to just survive and you lose hope of achieving anything else. Gradually, depression, despair and embarrassment took hold and as my circle of friends decreased, I had no one to turn to. For five long years, I simply survived.
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