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PRESS RELEASE: The Magpie Project wins London Homelessness Award!

Newham project makes it to the top three for prestigious awards

The Magpie Project has been announced as one of the three winners of the prestigious 2019 London Homelessness Awards.  The organisation will find out if they have won the top prize of £30,000 at a special event in October.

The Magpie Project is a community response to the problem of homeless families in Newham. The team work with mums during their time without secure housing.

Jane Williams, works at the Magpie Project.  She said: “Although the families with under fives we see are rarely rough sleeping, they can be sofa-surfing, in refuges, or in cramped, grubby, inadequate temporary accommodation.  Their children are uniquely vulnerable. Squalid accommodation and destitution make potty training, adequate sleep, play, good diet or exercise impossible to achieve. This can often lead to delayed development and trauma.”

“So, three times a week we open our doors to offer a secure place to stay and play; somewhere for mums to find solace, respite and food, clothes, nappies, a listening ear. Then, when mums are ready, we bring professionals from health, immigration, housing, early years to support and advise them in addressing their issues and improve their lives.”

In the last two years more than 300 mums have accessed the project and sessions are often full with 50 or more mums and 75 children at the sessions.  On average the team see five new families a week.

Dianne has visited the project with her young children. She said

“The Magpie Project gave me hope when I had none. I went there when I could not see a way out of my situation – but they worked with me on solving my problems and now I feel happier and more hopeful. The Magpie Project gave me wings”

Simon Dow chaired the judging panel for the London Homelessness Awards.  He said: “The judges thought that the Magpie Project is a great example of identifying and responding to a pressing local need in this case by building a range of services to support vulnerable families in their search for secure homes.”

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