Ahead of the Big Band’s curtain-raising gig at Deal Bandstand next month in aid of Porchlight, I talked with the charity’s Community Fundraising officer (and Kent alumnus!), Kate Lumley.
Tell me about Porchlight
Porchlight is the charity I work for. Porchlight helps people who are homeless or facing housing issues and also works to prevent homelessness in Canterbury and across Kent.
What sets it apart from other local charitable organisations ?
This is a good question! I think a few things. Firstly, the charity is committed not only to helping people, but also to changing negative attitudes and stereotypes that are connected with homelessness. We want people to understand that homelessness can happen to anyone, that we think everyone has a right to a secure home, and that help is available if anyone finds themselves, or someone they are close to, facing this kind of situation. I also think that the sheer range of our services sets us apart. Porchlight is committed to providing long-term solutions to homelessness, a lot more than a roof over someone’s head and a bowl of soup, but helping someone to tackle the issues that caused them to become homeless in the first place and get their lives back on track. We have such a broad range of services from a 24 hour helpline, a rough sleeper team and different levels of supported accommodation, to prevention work supporting children and adults, so that each person we help can follow a tailored support plan based on their own personal needs and aspirations. It goes without saying that this doesn’t come cheap! And so this is why we are so in need of support from the local community to continue to provide these services.
Forty years is quite a birthday to be celebrating this year! How are you doing so ?
I feel very privileged to be working for a charity that has been helping people and changing lives for the last 40 years. It’s a very exciting year for us and we are marking Porchlight’s anniversary with lots of different events! We’d really like this year to be about raising the profile of the charity and encouraging people to support us, whether that’s by raising awareness, volunteering or fundraising. Please check out the Porchlight website if you’d like to get involved.
We’re looking forward to our fund-raising event for you: can you guarantee the sun will shine ?!
Haha! No, but I hope it does. And if the Big Band are as good as I remember then it’ll be a great event come rain or shine! Thanks so much to Ian and the band for doing this event for Porchlight, we’re extremely grateful for the support.
Find out more about the Big Band’s seaside gig during Summer Music Week here.