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Kind donation creates a warm welcome at The Junction

People staying at Derventio’s ground-breaking Derby homeless project are being handed essential items such as shampoo, toothbrushes and basic ingredients on arrival after generous building society staff donated money to pay for welcome packs.

Derventio Housing Trust has put together 20 of the packs for newcomers at The Junction after we received a £380 donation from the Mansfield Building Society.

The Junction is a nine-bedroom property designed to give homeless people a fast-track way into supported accommodation by giving them somewhere to stay immediately without having to undergo an assessment interview beforehand.

Instead, they have to agree to abide by a strict set of rules and responsibilities and take part in induction and learning activities for a following 14-day period before deciding if they want to move into another of Derventio’s properties.

The Junction was opened in January and, so far, 39 people have been given accommodation there, having been referred by Derby City Council’s Housing Options team.

Becky Malley-Smith, housing manager at The Junction, said that many of the residents are young people who have never lived independently before or have recently spent time in prison, while an increasing number of new arrivals have fled their homes because of domestic abuse.

In all cases, they arrive with little more than just a few belongings and the clothes that they are wearing, meaning that the welcome packs – which, alongside toiletries include tea and coffee and tins of beans – will give them a vital helping hand as they begin their new life at The Junction.

She said:

All of our residents have come from extremely difficult situations and receiving something like a welcome pack will instantly make them feel valued in their new surroundings and show them that we care.

Creating that feeling from the first minute is a must and a very important part of our approach, which is why we are so grateful to the Mansfield Building Society for this generous donation.

Mike Taylor, Head of Products and Savings at Mansfield Building Society, said the Society was proud that the donation would go towards helping vulnerable people get back on their feet:

By providing these welcome packs, homeless people in Derby can not only get a roof over their heads at The Junction, they can also get those little essentials that so many of us take for granted.

It’s really important that people in these circumstances can get the help and care they need in order to transition back into supported housing and independent living.