Salisbury Freemasons in £1,000 to homeless charity

A CHARITY helping the homeless in Salisbury has been handed a £1,000 boost thanks to the Freemasons.

Salisbury Trust for the Homeless (STFH), the city’s charity for the homeless, received the donation from Wiltshire Freemasons.

John Reid, head of Wiltshire Freemasons, visited STFH’s offices in Fisherton Street to make the presentation.

He met up with Gordon Pardy, head of fundraising for STFH, and Charlotte Davies, the charity’s service manager.

John said: “We asked members of our lodges whether there is a cause particularly close to their hearts and it was clear that tackling homelessness was high up their list of priorities.”

Part of the donation came from Wiltshire Freemasons lodges and part from the Masons Charitable Foundation, a central fund that has distributed £33 million to good causes around England and Wales.

Gordon said: “We are extremely grateful to Wiltshire Freemasons for this very generous gift.

“We receive no funding from either central or local government and so we are very much dependent on financial help from individuals and organisations in Wiltshire.”

STFH has helped hundreds of people turn their lives around in recent years.

Founded in 1987, originally providing rough sleepers with a bed for the night, the charity now provides a long-term solution by providing accommodation and support for single people over the age of 18 who have become homeless.

The charity helps them regain confidence and self-esteem, learn life skills, find education, training and employment opportunities, and access permanent accommodation, so returning to independent living.

Support needs include mental health issues, learning disabilities, emotional support, drug and alcohol misuse, anti-social behaviour, budgeting, benefits claims and tenancy support.

STFH owns five houses in Salisbury and rents another four.

Financially, it runs a tight ship, with only three support workers paid employees. Everybody else, from members of the board through to those responsible for fundraising, are volunteers.

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