The Rotary Club of Eastbourne has just launched its most ambitious charity fundraising project of recent times and is calling out for support and donations in kind or in cash.

Its ‘Homes for Homeless’ initiative aims to provide four one-bedroom homes to reduce the number of people living on the streets of Eastbourne.  

The fundraising target is £400,000. This will enable the local Rotary Club to fund, refurbish and furnish a suitable property dedicated to providing a dignified abode for homeless people in the town.

Brian O’Neil, president of the Rotary Club of Eastbourne, said: “The service that will be provided by our Homes for Homeless project is desperately needed in the town – a need that is growing and has been further exacerbated by the pandemic.

 “There is no doubt that this is an ambitious project but we are confident, from our many decades of fundraising experience, that we will be able to get the town behind us to achieve the goal.”

It is estimated that it will take at least 18 months to raise enough money to secure a property, and a further six months before it is ready to welcome the first tenants. Southdown Housing Association, a not-for-profit specialist provider of support and housing services to vulnerable people in Eastbourne, will work with the Rotary as its delivery partner. It has also agreed to match fund the Rotary’s funds up to £400,000.

Neil Blanchard, CEO, Southdown Housing Association, said: “I’m delighted and proud that the Rotary Club of Eastbourne has selected Southdown to work with them on Home for Homeless project. This partnership provides a great opportunity for our two local organisations to pool resources and work with the local community to make a real and lasting difference.”

Ian Huke, chairman of Homes for Homeless project, said: “We are calling out for financial donations from charities, trusts, funds, grants and bequests, as well as individual donations from residents and businesses in kind or in cash.

 “We hope Homes for Homeless will have a permanent positive impact on reducing homelessness in our town and will be a lasting legacy for the Club and everyone that supports it.”

The Rotary Club of Eastbourne will also be organising a range of fundraising events and hopes to get the support of the community and businesses far and wide. All information on the project and a range of options on how to donate and get involved can be found at: www.homes-for-homeless.org

2022 is the Rotary Club of Eastbourne’s centenary anniversary. To mark the occasion all its efforts will focus on delivering ‘Homes for Homeless’ in Eastbourne.