Cool to be Kind celebrates after receiving £20k of National Lottery funding to help rough sleepers in Essex


Local community group, Cool to be Kind, is today celebrating after being awarded £20,000 in National Lottery funding to support its work with homeless people and rough sleepers in the Chelmsford and wider Essex community. The group, based in Chelmsford, will use the money to fund Street Support, which offers a comprehensive directory of services designed to assist individuals experiencing homelessness, covering areas like financial advice, employment assistance, and mental health support.

Cool to be Kind has been running since 2015 and is staffed by 22 volunteers. It was founded by five passionate volunteers Marion Booth, Jo Hindley, Kellie Jones, Brian McGovern, and Dan Skeates, after they noticed a heart-breaking increase of rough sleepers in Chelmsford. 

The group now supports on average 130 rough sleepers each week with warm clothes, food and the online directory. . 

The new funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK, will ensure Street Support continues to run for 2024, providing essential signposting to support services at a critical time for individuals experiencing homelessness, empowering them to navigate their way towards stability and recovery.  

Dan Skeates, Co-Founder of Cool to be Kind, said: “We are deeply grateful for the support from The National Lottery Community Fund. This funding represents crucial support and offers a lifeline to those we aim to help by enabling us to continue providing essential signposting to support services for individuals experiencing homelessness.”

The National Lottery Community Fund recently launched its new strategy, ‘It starts with community’, which will underpin its efforts to distribute at least £4 billion of National Lottery funding by 2030.

As part of this, the funder has four key missions, which are to support communities to come together, be environmentally sustainable, help children and young people thrive and enable people to live healthier lives. 

National Lottery players raise over £30 million a week for good causes across the UK. Thanks to them, last year The National Lottery Community Fund was able to distribute over half a billion pounds (£615.4 million) of life-changing funding to communities. 

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