HealthBus Trust hits fundraising target for new mobile clinic
The HealthBus Trust has reached its fundraising target of £60,000. This means the charity can now purchase a brand-new vehicle to give rough sleepers and people experiencing homelessness access to healthcare and other support services through a mobile drop-in clinic.
The HealthBus Team have needed a new vehicle since the first COVID-19 lockdown when they found that the hired bus they were using was unsuitable for face-to-face contact. Patients who live on the street are particularly vulnerable to catching and spreading the virus as it is so difficult for them to maintain hygiene, practice social distancing, self-isolate or receive treatment when needed.
In late spring the ‘Get Back on the Road’ fundraising campaign was launched so that a new vehicle could be purchased and built to the HealthBus team’s specifications. Thanks to generous donations, ingenious fundraising and grants, the HealthBus Trust has ordered its own purpose-built vehicle.
‘Run for the Bus’, a virtual run held over the August bank holiday, was a highlight of the campaign. Organisers were delighted that HealthBus patient Maxi, who lived on the streets for several years, was one of the participants. He completed a 5k circuit with Dr Maggie Kirk, GP, Medical Director of the charity and founder of the service along with St Mungo’s and BCP support workers and the Homeless Healthcare Nurse.
Asha, a young recording artist, also contributed to the fundraising with proceeds from her single ‘Invisible’ going to the cause. It is available on Spotify https://spoti.fi/39H6Iob and you can watch the video on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=350490235956110&t=63.
There are many reasons why rough sleepers and the homeless have difficulty accessing healthcare. A mobile clinic is essential for treating this marginalised group at the point of need, whether they are living on the streets or in emergency accommodation.
As well as providing basic healthcare and specialist GP services, the HealthBus Team work in partnership and cooperation with other service providers, such as addiction and mental health specialists, to help people to find the support they need to move on in life. More recently during the Covid pandemic, BCP Council and the CCG have contributed emergency funding which has supported the service.
One rough sleeper, Wayne, explained: People at the HealthBus really care. For the first time in over 30 years I feel hopeful about the future and where I am going and what I am doing. The HealthBus gives me the chance to rebuild my life.”
Make a one-off or regular donation.
Donating £50 would pay for the fuel and insurance for the Healthbus for one session.
Giving £30 could pays for a face-to-face appointment with a GP.
Just £5 pays for 10 rough sleepers to have tea, coffee and biscuits at our drop in each week.
You can make your donation via Paypal. Click on the the link below.
Did you know…
- The Homeless attend A&E six times more than average and when admitted stay three times longer
- Health savings averaged £8000 per person per year for each rough sleeper engaged with specialist homeless primary care
- The annual costs of unscheduled care for homeless people are eight times that of the housed population
- If we had to pay for all of the professionals involved with our present service as it currently stands it would cost £8000 per month per session. We have avoided some of these costs by inviting teams to join us such as the drug and alcohol and mental health teams
- With costs as they stand we would only need to engage around 10 people in care per year to make this worthwhile
Text NEWBUS to 70085 to donate £10
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