Local charity, Developmentplus, is today celebrating after being awarded combined funds of £180,000 from the Charity of Sir Richard Whittington and the Tudor Trust to continue its work with those sleeping rough in Lincoln. The charity, based in Lincoln, will use the money to offer an intensive signposting/advocacy service working together with local partners in the city.

Developmentplus has been running since 1997 and is staffed by a team of 12.  The charity provides a range of responsive services for the people of Lincolnshire that improves their wellbeing and mental health, promoting hope and sustainable personal progression.

Rough sleeping has continued to be a significant issue in England and in 2018 developmentplus was commissioned by the City of Lincoln to undertake research on homeless in the City.  The report identified a clear need to better support people in a way that did not duplicate the amazing work already being delivered by partner organisations.

As a direct response, Project Compass was set up in 2019.  The project looks to support people rough sleeping in Lincoln with no access to accommodation and is currently based at Lincoln Baptist Church, Croft Street. The project provides an advocacy service, keeping people in touch with services and maintaining engagement. It also provides hot and cold food and drinks, an opportunity for a quick wash, clothing, and phone charging.

The project continued throughout the pandemic during a time when many other services decreased or stopped their face-to-face delivery.  The team were able to provide information about keeping safe, the rules and restrictions and supported the delivery of a Covid-19 vaccination clinic specifically for people who were homeless.

In 2021, a research team at the University of Lincoln undertook an evaluation of the project, which concluded that Project Compass added value to the delivery of the services to those sleeping rough in Lincoln.

The new funding will begin in April, and before that the team will be busy preparing on how best to move forward.  As part of that, a place-based feasibility study will be undertaken to explore different sites for a possible future move, a team from the University will be supporting this work.

Now that the project has some stability, it is hoped that Project Compass will be able to continue to develop the positive partnerships that the project has established with other agencies within the City, including City of Lincoln Council, The Rough Sleeping Team, Health, Police, and many others.

Lynsey Collinson, CEO of developmentplus, says: “We’re delighted that both the Charity of Sir Richard Whittington and the Tudor Trust have recognised our work in this way.  Thanks to both, we will be able to move forward with our plans to develop Project Compass, providing much needed support to those sleeping rough in Lincoln”

Follow the team’s progress on Facebook at Project Compass.

Project Compass is one of eight projects managed by developmentplus and to find out more visit www.developmentplus.org.uk