Newry Helping the Homeless has won £50,000 from The People's Project for their Hope Thru Soap project, which will provide shower and other facilities for homeless people. The group was formed to highlight the plight of homeless people locally and on the island of Ireland.

The People’s Projects is a partnership between The National Lottery Community Fund, ITV and The National Lottery. Since 2005 it has given the public a unique say in how National Lottery money should be put to good use in their local area.

The Hope Thru Soap project by Newry Helping the Homeless will provide a mobile shower unit for homeless people in Newry and Belfast to have a hot shower in a private space.

They are also providing food, clothes, haircuts and medical check-ups with help from trained volunteers, which include medical professionals. The project will improve hygiene and wellbeing for homeless people, raise awareness of homelessness in the community and attract new volunteers.

Newry Helping The Homeless members celebrate their win.
Newry Helping The Homeless members celebrate their win.

Five projects campaigned across Northern Ireland from 1-15 April for a share of £150,000. Each had their work featured on UTV giving the public a chance to see their fantastic work and then make the tough choice of where the money should go.

After being chosen by voters from across Northern Ireland, three winning groups are now using this new funding to continue their work to bring people together, strengthen their communities and make a difference to people’s lives. The two other groups that received £50K are Adam’s Camp NI and Ards Peninsula First Responders Scheme.

Tommy Jones, chairperson of Newry Helping the Homeless said: “This was a dream of ours from the start and now it’s a reality thanks to The People’s Projects. We can now buy a mobile shower unit which will make a massive difference to a lot of homeless people. Thanks to all our volunteers for helping throughout the campaign and thanks to everyone who voted.”

Runner up MERGE by Drake Music Project NI based at WIN in Newry are set to receive £5,000 for a smaller project.

Kate Beggs, The National Lottery Community Fund Northern Ireland Director, said: “The People’s Projects highlights the fantastic things communities are doing across Northern Ireland to enable people to thrive.

“All five groups did a brilliant job at showcasing their projects, building community spirit and campaigning for votes.

“Congratulations to everyone and we’re looking forward to seeing this year’s winners use National Lottery funding to strengthen their communities and support people to lead happier and healthier lives.”

The People’s Projects has awarded around £45 million to over 1,000 good causes across the UK since it started in 2005.

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