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Dec 16, 2019

End of Year Updates from FirstLight Trust

Star Baker Natasha
Star Baker Natasha

Giving Tuesday and FirstLight Trust’s Festive Bake Off

We witnessed another incredibly successful Bake Off taking place across our six hubs, this time on Giving Tuesday and with a festive twist! FirstLight colleagues baked many mouth-watering cakes and the competition was hotly contested, with customers voting for their favourite. Following the announcement of the six hub winners, they were uploaded to our Facebook page and our online supporters had the opportunity to vote for Star Baker, which was our newest Hawick Hub Assistant, Natasha!

Our posts on Facebook for the festive Bake Off generated the highest amount of views we have ever receieved, reaching a staggering 36,000 people! This event has pushed out our scope tremendously and it has hopefully reached more veterans in need. 

Donations received on Giving Tuesday towards preventing homelessness for veterans in the UK -

Cash donations in the hubs generated by the Bake Off (approx.) £260

Through GlobalGiving (approx.) £60

Total (approx.) - £320

 

Case Study from Hereford (updates from last report)

DL will be completing his CSCS (Construction Skills Certificate Scheme) training on the 16th December. It is hoped that he will be ‘on site’ in early January. DL is now living in a shared house, a stones throw from the build he will be working on; he has already completed some training and has bonded with fellow peers on the self-build.

DL continues to engage and participate with local veteran organisations. He stated, “The best thing I ever did was walk into Firstlight Trust, they have turned my life around. I now have purpose and goals, they have done more for me than anyone else ever has”.

DL sees his son regularly and is looking forward to decorating his own home. He is also continuing with his walking and raising awareness for homelessness. He will be walking Hadrian’s wall in March, and is currently making sure he has all the correct ‘kit’!

 

Year-End Campaign

GlobalGiving will 100% match any recurring donations made by the 31st December, provided their incentive fund hasn’t run out! If you were thinking about becoming one of our recurring donors, now is the perfect time. Please be aware that you will need to remain a recurring donor for at least 4 months for the matching funds to take effect, but of course any donation is extremely welcome.. 

For more information please click the link at the bottom of the page.

 

Enjoy a meal and help a Veteran

If you're in London this month and are in need of a dinner recommendation then look no further than the French chain of restaurants, Aubaine. Throughout December, their guests will have the option to donate £1 on their bill which will all go to FirstLight Trust’s project on preventing homelessness for Veterans in the UK.

Aubaine has establishments in Brompton Road, Kensington, Marylebone, Mayfair, Notting Hill, London Selfridges, and Covent Garden. You can read more about this campaign on our website (please click the link at the bottom of the page)

 

Thank you so much for your continual support throughout 2019. We hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Gosport winner - Riah
Gosport winner - Riah
Hereford winner - Louise
Hereford winner - Louise
Redcar winner - Rachel
Redcar winner - Rachel
Scarborough winner Una
Scarborough winner Una
Lancaster winner - Wendy
Lancaster winner - Wendy

Links:

Nov 1, 2019

Preventing Homelessness this Winter

The Veteran's Journey
The Veteran's Journey

As the days are getting shorter and the nights are growing longer, darker and colder the conditions for homelessness are becoming more extreme and the need for prevention is vital now more than ever. With the heavy downpour that hit the UK at the start of last month, FirstLight Trust witnessed several homeless veterans trying to escape from the rain, particularly in Hereford.

 

Case Study:

A 29-year-old veteran called DL from Hereford, who was made homeless by the council for reasons outside of his control came to a FirstLight Trust hub soaked and with nowhere to go. He was not classed as vulnerable by the council, and no other charity was available to help him due to ‘holidays.’ Within three hours, FirstLight Trust had provided him with food and arranged for him to stay in a B&B for a week whilst they had time to arrange permanent housing. This happened just before the flood warnings occurred in Hereford at the start of October.

 

Rain and flooding have only continued over the past month in this part of the UK, and as we are moving into Winter, we can only expect conditions to get worse, making street-sleeping extremely dangerous and even life threatening.

 

The Veteran’s Journey:

In October, DL joined a team of four, including FirstLight Trust’s amazing Support Coordinator, Lynne, on a ten-day hike across Offa’s Dyke to highlight homelessness and mental health in the veteran and blue light communities. Hereford alone has witnessed four veterans becoming homeless in the last few weeks, and the council could not provide housing for three of them. Two homeless veterans joined the 177 mile hike and seemed to gain a great deal from the experience. Lynne explains:

“One of the Veterans who joined us has mental health issues. While on the walk, he found peace, he would often talk about ‘loving the quiet’ having ‘time to think about his life’. He thoroughly enjoyed the time camping, map reading, fresh air and planning stops for coffee and food. He appeared to become a different person; he was happy, genuinely happy. The difference in him before and even now he is back is very visual. He has become quieter, and slightly distant since our return. He is on the veteran self-build, we (FLT) have found and secured him a temporary home for the next eleven months while be helps build his own home with Alabare. He has asked to come walking again in the spring when we plan to do Hadrian’s Wall.”

 

The Veteran’s Journey brilliantly raised just over £500, which will go towards FirstLight’s crucial work in preventing homelessness for UK veterans. If you are interested in The Veteran’s Journey and would like more information, including day-to-day updates on their hike you can visit their Facebook page in the link below.

 

Homelessness is a current issue that many experience all year round. If you would like to join the FirstLight Trust team in supporting homeless veterans please consider donating to our project page, even the smallest donation has a huge impact. We are also welcoming anyone who would like to join us in supporting the cause on a more regular basis by becoming a monthly donor, which you can also do through our project page.

 

Thank you so much for your ongoing support, from everyone at FirstLight Trust!

The Veteran's Journey
The Veteran's Journey

Links:

Sep 25, 2019

Awareness raised for homeless veterans in the UK

Star Baker - Rachel from Redcar
Star Baker - Rachel from Redcar

Wednesday the 18th of September was an outstanding day for FirstLight Trust (FLT). The charity received an overwhelming amount of donations through the GlobalGiving platform and cash donations in the hubs. Although cash donations do not count towards FirstLight’s Accelerator target on the GlobalGiving platform, they do go to the vital cause of preventing homelessness in UK veterans.

FirstLight Trust’s National Bake Off - 18th of September:

The Bake Off was a huge success and has brought awareness to the incredible work carried out across FirstLight's six hubs. The hubs are a vital recourse for many UK veterans and raising their awareness encourages more veterans to reach out for help. The Bake Off activities were thoroughly enjoyed across the hubs and by online supporters, who had the opportunity to vote for Star Baker! FirstLight will be planning similar events in the future, so please follow their social media channels to stay updated:

Twitter: @FirstLightTrust

Facebook: @firstlighttrust

Donations raised for homeless UK veterans during the Bake Off and Bonus Day on the 18th of September:

Online: £712

Cash: £640

Total: £1,352

Overall online and cash donations to preventing homelessness in UK veterans is currently at £2,055

 

GlobalGiving Accelerator update

FirstLight Trust's Accelerator total is currently at £1,063, with £2,958 left to reach in online donations by the 27th of September, which will earn them a permanent place on the GlobalGiving platform.

 

Thank you!

The fantastic fundraising efforts and generous donations given over the last few weeks has generated a vast amount of support and collaboration as well as awareness of the crucial work carried out in the hubs and on the issue of homelessness for UK veterans. Thank you so much for supporting this cause.

Runner up - Emma from Scarborough
Runner up - Emma from Scarborough
Runner up - John from Hawick
Runner up - John from Hawick
Runner up - Lorri from Lancaster
Runner up - Lorri from Lancaster
Runner up - Taff from Hereford
Runner up - Taff from Hereford
Runner up - Christine from Gosport
Runner up - Christine from Gosport
 
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