A new service to help vulnerable people in Halton has been launched with a pledge to listen and act.
Plus Dane has joined forces with social justice advocates SHAP and Halton Borough Council to provide a range of support services that will help people live independent lives.
Among those who will benefit are people who face homelessness due to mental health or behavioural issues as well as people from minority or disadvantaged backgrounds.
The idea is to prevent homelessness by intervening in lives and offering practical and emotional support.
Former service user Siobhan Kent, of SHAP, will be one of the support workers for the new service and at a launch event at the Stobart Stadium, Widnes, spoke movingly about what the help means.
Siobhan went through a period of homelessness herself before receiving housing support from Halton Council and floating support from SHAP which enabled her to finish a college course and later go on to complete a degree in event and business management.
She said: "You feel rejected and alone, like there’s no one there for you, but the counselling you get helps you cope and get your life back on track. Without it, I wouldn’t have finished my degree and may have ended up on the streets."
Also speaking at the event, Plus Dane’s chief executive Ken Perry said: "We are living in a changing world and sadly one in which inequality is rising and people’s sense of wellbeing is diminishing. By forming partnerships like this, we can reach out to those people who need the most help and give them the support they need to live their lives and fulfil all their potential.
"We will listen to what the people who need this service need and make sure we meet and exceed those expectations."
The new service will be based in Jackson House, off Second Avenue, near Runcorn’s Halton Lea shopping Centre.