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Community Windpower prevents Liverpool homeless charity from closing

The Cotton Street Project

The short-term future of one of the north west’s most unique homeless shelters has been secured after Community Windpower donated £20,000.

Liverpool’s Cotton Street Project was facing closure due to Covid-19, but will now be able to continue providing life-changing and life-saving support, following the intervention from Frodsham-based Community Windpower.

The project now has enough funds to enable it to provide support to its 14 current residents until July, while it makes plans for a fully sustainable centre.

Andrea Pankiw, head of charity at The Cotton Street Project, said: “Without this support from Community Windpower we thought the shelter would close in the next few weeks.

“Our usual source of funding through donations and charity events has virtually dried up, which meant our remaining funds were quickly being used.

“Now we have hope restored that we can survive the Covid-19 situation and prosper in the future as a self-sustaining charity.

“Some of the residents have been with us for months, with most having serious addictions and all suffering from mental health problems.

“It would have been awful if we had to close, as everyone would be faced with living on the streets again, with little or no help to support their individual problems.

“Our long-term goal is to eradicate homelessness in Liverpool, but this can only be achieved by working together and support from organisations like Community Windpower.”

Community Windpower, which operates seven wind farms in Scotland, has previously raised more than £100,000 for charities through its annual challenge, and is hoping to work with The Cotton Street Project on a more permanent basis in the future.

Diane Wood, community benefits director at Community Windpower, said: “We’re living in worrying and unprecedented times for everyone, and now is the time everyone needs to dig deep and help people in communities that are being negatively impacted by this Covid-19 crisis.

“The Cotton Street Project is a unique homeless shelter with a long-term initiative, and we’re delighted to be able to help them continue providing the vital support, until at least the summer.

“The project has a real community feel and is making such a huge difference to people, so in the coming weeks we will be looking at how we can provide long-term help to Andrea, her team and the residents.”

The Cotton Street Project incorporates unique accommodation, social activities, café facilities, skills workshops and professional support.

Since opening it has helped 73 people get off the streets and provide them with a platform to live independent lives without addiction or mental health problems.

Andrea added: “With all services under one roof, we provide one-to-one support to help people overcome addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling, as well as mental health issues, which is not available elsewhere.

“We can now focus on our plans to build our project; potentially opening sites in other locations.

“The next few months will provide us breathing space to obtain further individual and corporate donations.”

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