Margate Community Trust, in partnership with the Thanet Rise Team and others, has launched a new project to help tackle rough sleeping.
Margate FC is making its Hartsdown Park facilities available every Friday to offer facilities nd services to people who are currently homeless.
With support from the Margate Supporters Club and its mini-bus, rough sleepers were collected from four pick-up points in Thanet and brought back to Margate FC’s Hartsdown Park for the first session on October 6.
While at the grounds, service users have access to a hot shower, a hot meal and health services on site including a nurse and the NHS dental van. Thanet housing members are also present with a representative from HSBC due to be at future who will assist service users with setting up a no address bank account to help them access funds that they might be entitled to.
Service users also have the option to have all their clothes washed and dried and can take new clothing from a clothes bank that is in operation on the day. Football sessions are also available for those that want to get some exercise.
For those that want to relax, they have access to a warm shelter where they can also chat with a mental health worker from the Head in the Game charity.
The Community Trust has thanked Thanet District Council, Changing Minds Kent, Head in the Game and the Isthmian League Trident fund who have supported grants and services to ensure that this project will run every Friday at Hartsdown Park until the end of April 2024.
Community Trust Director Ryan Day said he was overwhelmed by the start of the project and recognises the impact it is having already.
He added: “It has taken a lot of work from the club and the Trust to get this project off the ground. Only two weeks in and we are already seeing the impact it is having on the local community.
“One attendee on the first week said the best thing about the day was the chance to interact with other people. When you hear things like that it makes you aware of how much we all take life for granted, but also it is a huge indicator that this football club is having an incredible effect on its local community.
“It is easy to get caught up in the day to day running of a football club, but I firmly believe that projects like this show how much this club working hard to serve its community”.
Anyone looking for some further information on the project is urged to contact [email protected]