HBAA has raised over £32,500 since January for social enterprise company, Buses4Homeless.
This substantial sum has been generated from auctions, raffles and donations at the association’s Kick-Off Dinner, Online Charity Auction, Come Dine with Me and Annual Forum events.
Founded by Dan Atkins, Buses4Homeless plans to fit double-decker buses that are no longer emission zone compliant as overnight shelters (Buses 4 Shelter), kitchens and dining areas (Buses 4 Dining) education centres, where the homeless can develop vocational skills to integrate them into the workplace (Buses 4 Learning), and for relaxation and recuperation (Buses 4 Wellness).
The money raised by HBAA members has already been used to complete the first Bus 4 Shelter, which is fitted out with sleep pods, storage space and toilets, as a 16 berth ‘sleeping bus’. It has also helped to finish a semi-open top Bus 4 Wellness, which has areas for one-to-one and group mental health support as well as for physical therapy.
A Bus 4 Learning has been equipped with 16 desks and office chairs, wiring and a chill-out/meeting area. The upper deck of the Bus 4 Dining now has tables and 32 reupholstered seats. A commercial kitchen will be installed downstairs when money is available.
In addition to the funds raised, many HBAA members have contributed not only valuable materials that have been used but also a vast amount of their personal time to work as volunteers on the project.
Dan Atkins said, “While we’re thrilled with all the help we’ve had and with the progress on the buses, we can’t use them until we find a suitable parking area for them. That’s our priority at the moment.”
Angie Mason, chair of the HBAA said, “Our target for the year was £30k and to surpass it so quickly is a testament to the generosity and selflessness of the entire HBAA membership. We can all take immense pride that Dan has been able to develop his vision so rapidly. We’ll be continuing with our wholehearted support and are looking forward to seeing the first rough sleepers moving into the bus as soon as Dan finds a suitable place to park it for the long term.”
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