Gaskells Waste are delighted to be among seven Liverpool city region businesses spearheading a new drive to urge the private sector to do their bit to end all forms of homelessness.
Gaskells, along with Avison Young, DLA Piper, MSB Solicitors, Investec, Liverpool ONE, and Onward Homes has already signed up to a pledge to make a ‘tangible contribution’ to tackling homelessness, from sponsorship to equipment, from volunteering to pro-bono services, and are now asking other businesses to support them.
This morning saw the launch of the Home Street Home campaign, which is aiming to have 200 businesses across the region sign up to the pledge, which will also include each business having a so called ‘Charter Champion’ who’ll receive training from the national homelessness charity Crisis, aimed at raising the business’ awareness of the issues surrounding homelessness. A UK first of its kind, the Homelessness Business Charter has been created with the Community Foundation for Merseyside (CFLM) and Liverpool Parish Church to help people out of homelessness. One of its aims is to help change public attitudes to the problem by communicating its complex causes.
In January 2019, Aimee Teese, a 30-year-old mum was found dead in a tent in Vauxhall, Liverpool. Three months later, 40-year-old Richard Kehoe also died in similar circumstances, on Moira Street, near the Royal Liverpool Hospital.Both of these stories of life and death on the streets were recalled at a high profile conference, Homelessness and Rough Sleeping – Who Cares? in April, held at Liverpool Parish Church, chaired by the University of Liverpool’s urban expert, Professor Michael Parkinson, and on which Gaskells Commercial Director Denise Banks was part of the panel.
The event was attended by 170 people and brought together both Mayors’ offices, experts in homelessness and business leaders. Delegates also heard the compelling lived experience of Karl Smith, who told of his hardship and struggle to escape living on the street.
It inspired Gaskells and the other businesses to want to do more, not only to try and help end homelessness, but to tackle misconceptions about it. Gaskells and the rest of the businesses have held regular meetings in the months since the conference, through which the Homelessness Business Charter was born.
Denise Banks, Commercial Director at Gaskells Waste said “The statistics on the number of homeless people dying are truly shocking, not just in Liverpool, but across the whole of the UK, and quite simply we want to do something about it here. We already work very closely with Liverpool based homelessness charity The Whitechapel Centre, as we know we have a duty to help, so when we were approached by the Community Foundation for Merseyside to get involved in this initiative, we were only too happy to become involved. As invaluable as it is, we cannot continue to leave work to eradicate homelessness to local councils, charities and other organisations. As a local company we feel that we too have a great deal to bring to the table to help tackle the homelessness problem in the Liverpool city region and we really hope that what businesses have heard at today’s launch has given them food for thought, they sign up to the Homelessness Business Charter, and spread the word to more businesses. Together, businesses across the Liverpool City Region CAN make a difference”.