Gaskells are delighted to confirm our Commercial Director Denise has been invited to sit on the panel of a conference to look at the issue of homelessness and rough sleeping across the Liverpool City Region, why we should care, and what the private sector can do to help. We know there is already a lot of good work going on across Liverpool and the surrounding areas to help. Liverpool City Council has led the way with its ‘Always Room Inside’ initiative at Labre House, and the work The Whitechapel CentreĀ does is incredible, with their outreach workers on the front line and their other services. There are also a number of other charitable and voluntary organisations who carry out excellent work to help, but this conference will be looking at what more can be done by the private sector.

Homelessness affects people from all backgrounds and walks of life. It has a negative impact on Liverpool’s economy and reflects badly on the city as a destination, so we’re really looking forward to this discussion on what contribution the business community can make.

The conference will take place in April at Liverpool Parish Church and has been organised by the Community Foundation for Merseyside. Other speakers on the day will include Chief Constable of Merseyside Police Andy Cooke, CEO of Liverpool Football Club Peter Moore, Professor Michael Parkinson from the University of Liverpool, leading figures from Liverpool City Council, Liverpool BID, Liverpool ONE, the Liverpool Echo and many more.

Denise said “Homelessness is an issue we’re very passionate about at Gaskells, we already do a lot of work with the homelessness charity The Whitechapel Centre, so I’m delighted to be asked to sit on the panel at this conference. I’m looking forward to hearing what everyone has to say, to learning more about the impact homelessness has, which will hopefully help more of us in the private sector develop a greater understanding of the issue, and what more we can do.”

Also on the day, the world famous ‘Homeless Jesus’ sculpture will be installed in St Nicholas Church Gardens as part of the public visible commitment by the Parish Church to the issue of homelessness. Homeless Jesus is a bronze sculpture, designed by Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz, who’s a devout Catholic. It depicts Jesus as a homeless person sleeping on a bench. You can’t see his face or hands, but the holes in his feet where Jesus was nailed to the cross identify it as him. Casts of this sculpture have been placed in many cities around the world, including Rome, Chicago, Oklahoma, Manchester and Glasgow. Liverpool’s homeless community will be involved in the unveiling of the Homeless Jesus here, and the Bishop of Liverpool will carry out a blessing.