Moving on Project Portsmouth seeks support after rise in number of ‘vulnerable people’ needing help

A CHARITY is looking for funding to support a surge in demand from vulnerable people across the city.

By Neil Fatkin
Tuesday, 18th February 2020, 4:28 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th February 2020, 2:18 pm

The Moving on Project Portsmouth (MOPP), based in Buckland, provides furniture, domestic appliances and food to help disadvantaged people setting up a new home.

Vulnerable groups include domestic abuse victims, rough sleepers, offenders on probation and the poor.

Cases have more than double from 104 in 2017 to 219 last year, and the charity now needs £5,000 to meet demand.

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The Moving on Project held an open day on Tuesday, February 18, in Grafton Street, Buckland in Portsmouth. Pictured is: Sarah Knight, founder of the Moving on Project. Picture: Sarah Standing (180220-8138)

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Charity treasurer Brenda Towle joined the organisation in 2018, after having previously fallen on hard times and having her house repossessed.

She said: ‘It’s really difficult out there for many people.

‘We recently helped one lady start again after she had to be rehoused due to domestic abuse.

The Moving on Project held an open day on Tuesday, February 18, in Grafton Street, Portsmouth. Pictured is: (right) Patron of the Moving on Project Donna Jones with service providers and volunteers. Picture: Sarah Standing (180220-8140)

‘She had no furniture and her children didn’t even have a bed.

‘It was heartwarming to see the children’s faces when the beds got delivered.’

Christiana Churcher, 48, sought help in 2018 after becoming a wheelchair user and having her husband diagnosed with terminal cancer.

‘We were moved out of old our flat and were offered a disabled bungalow in Buckland,’ she said.

‘MOPP helped us to refurnish the whole house. The support they gave us was amazing – I can’t speak highly enough of them.’

The charity said Universal Credit has led to more referrals, along with the charity being better known.

Speaking at an open day on Tuesday, charity secretary Jan Bone said: ‘There was a real increase in the need for support when people were being transferred onto Universal Credit.

‘Sometimes people had nothing to live on for up to 12 weeks.

‘This is when we decided to also do the foodbank.’

The charity now uses 20 storage units, up from five, at its headquarters in Grafton Street’s underground car park.

Portsmouth City Council has given permission for MOPP to use the whole site. But £5,000 is needed to fit a metal gate, add extra units and put in electricity.

Charity patron and city councillor, Donna Jones, said: ‘This is a brilliant volunteer run charity which offers a vital service. Any donations go straight to helping those on the front line.’

Since being set up in 2017, the charity has helped to support almost 700 families, its founder Sarah Knight said.