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Tents in Avenham Park as city homelessness charity calls out housing shortage

Posted on - 25th June, 2024 - 11:18am | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Housing, Parks, Politics, Preston Council, Preston News
Two tents appeared in Avenham Park.
Two tents appeared in Avenham Park Pic: Daniel Brides/Blog Preston

People have been spotted camping in tents in Avenham Park in Preston.

The two tents are said to have been on the grass for over two weeks.

It is unsure who is using them and whether they are camping in the area or living in the tents – however camping of any sort is not permitted on the city council’s green spaces.

Read more: Penwortham’s King George V play area reopens after £90k renovation

They are both set up by the water.
The tents are both set up by the water. Pic: Daniel Brides/Blog Preston

A spokesperson for Preston City Council said: Camping on the Council’s parks and open spaces is not permitted. We are in the process of removing those camping on Avenham and Miller Parks and offering support where possible for any needs they may have.”

Jeff Marsh, CEO of The Foxton Centre, a homelessness charity in Preston said the situation is ‘really upsetting’ and people are ‘sleeping in tents in other areas of the city’ too.

He told Blog Preston: “It’s really sad that there isn’t enough appropriate accommodation for people in Preston.

“As an example of the housing crisis we face I understand there is a 52-week wait on Select Move (the way into social housing) for a one bed flat. That’s if you have top priority if you haven’t the wait is much longer. Simply put there isn’t enough housing to go around.

“We are in an election campaign and now is a really good time to ask our prospective parliamentary candidates what their party’s plans are about housing.”

Read more: See all our general election coverage so far

Each night The Foxton Centre provides 14 beds at their emergency hostel as well as 35 beds in shared properties. Jeff expressed how the places are ‘consistently full again indicating there is a need for more.’

He added: “A further part of our charitable response is our day centre which is open five days each week operating from the basement of the Methodist Church on Fox Street.

“We provide food, showers clothing and other practical support for homeless people. Other professionals attend the centre to help people get treatment and support and we are hoping to have a GP and nurses to work with us soon.”

To find out more about the Foxton Centre you can visit their website.

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