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Big Red Housing Bus drives awareness locally

The Big Red Housing bus welcomed around 200 people on board as it visited Frome to raise awareness of local housing issues.

For just under a week the vintage bus stopped at different locations including; Market Yard, Victoria Park, the Old Showfield, Vallis School and the Key Centre.

Funded as part of Frome Town Council’s People’s Budget vote the bus aimed to reach out to families and individuals around the town in housing need, particularly tenants in the private rented sector.

Volunteers on the bus provided a wide range of information about housing rights and services, as well as invitations to get involved initiatives such as the Frome Tenants & Lodging Association, the Frome Housing Survey and the Frome Landlords Association. But most importantly they listened to some difficult cases which will enable Fair Housing for Frome (FHfF) to get a true picture of what homelessness really looks like in Frome.

Each weekday there was a housing surgery provided by Elim Connect Centre, and a new FHfF leaflet about what’s available for homeless people is now available from the Town Hall and Discover Frome.

Ali Barclay, of FHfF said, “We’re very grateful to everyone who visited the Bus to share their story or offer their support. We hope we were able to offer some immediate assistance, and in addition every conversation will inform our work and enable us to explore fresh and appropriate ways of responding to the housing crisis in the town. We’d like to say thank you to Frome Town Council and the People’s Budget for funding the project, to all our partners and supporters, to Frome Valley Cleaners and Homebase who donated goods and services, and to the 21 volunteers who made it all possible.”

Families who stopped by to seek support were treated to free activities such as face painting and crafts, and children were also invited to take a turn on the smoothie bike and to enter a photo competition with Emily the homeless elephant. One visitor to the bus said, “I just came along to say thank you, it’s great that someone is doing something about the housing problems in the town.”

If you can spare a bit of time, FHfF would appreciate you taking the time to complete a short survey of Frome’s housing needs to help them develop future projects and services. It’s completely anonymous to take part and will take you about five minutes, you can find it here.

If you are concerned about someone sleeping rough on the streets, there are some local organisations that can give advice take a look here.

Published 17/04/2019

17 April 2019
Last Updated
19 January 2021
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