Local Stories

Your donations can make a real impact on someone’s life. By giving to Meaningful Change, our charities can direct funds straight to the people who need it, in the areas that they need it. 

Hear the stories below about the people we support and their experiences…

How Your Change is Helping …

Donations to Meaningful Change are directed to local charities to support a variety of areas. To date, funds have supported local people to access detox and rehabilitation services, cover the cost of identification papers (e.g. passport, CSCS card) to access support services (benefits and housing), and most recently, to support some staff training in the area of Equine Therapy.

Equine therapy (using the Eagala model www.eagala.org) will soon be available to vulnerable women via the Helping Hands Esther Project. The Esther Project is for women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and Helping Hands already provide a number of weekly activities, peer support, volunteer opportunities, training, educational courses, workshops, counselling and other therapeutic interventions to offer local vulnerable women. Up to 40 ladies currently access support and there has been an increase of local women in need of therapeutic, trauma-informed support through the Covid pandemic. This funding will go towards the delivery of equine therapy sessions as part of the WOW programme (Women of Worth), in conjunction with the CBT counselling already offered. In doing so, this valuable service will further support the environmental and emotional needs of clients and we look forward to future updates. (Image credit: Charlie Mackesy: The Boy, the mole, the fox and the Horse). 

New Contactless Devices in the Town Centre

We are very pleased to announce the deployment of a number of new contactless collection devices. The most recent device to be installed is located in Tesco – on Parade. This is a podium box, currently located near the Tavistock St entrance. This now joins 3 other contactless devices at the following locations:

  1. Royal Priors Shopping Centre – Podium box – Lower Mall (near Vision Express)
  2. Tesco on Parade – Podium box (near Tavistock Street)
  3. Leamington Spa Train Station – Window device

To date, nearly £9500 has been raised since Meaningful Change was first launched in October 2019. The funding is distributed across charities that support vulnerable people in Leamington. We are also grateful to Warwick District Council who funded the new devices so all of the funds generated can continue to be directed to local charities.


The House2Home project by Helping Hands provides furniture and household goods to recently homed & low-income families in South Warwickshire.

Generally when people are re-homed, they are not provided with essentials like a fridge or bed. Thanks to the House2Home project and your generosity, these goods can be delivered to those who need it. This helps turn empty houses into homes!

Every Little Act Counts …Some Updates

Having a passport or photo identification is essential, so Meaningful Change funding has been used to help obtain these documents by covering core costs, photographs, and travel/post. The value can not be underestimated. We asked a local man about this and he explained that he can now open a bank account and claim benefits – things he could not do without ID. He had been relying on 100% local charities and night shelters for support. He also said that he can also now apply for jobs and register with agencies for work – and said a big ‘thank you’ to Meaningful Change as it has made a big difference to his life.

In November 2020 Meaningful Change funded a residential rehabilitation placement for a vulnerable man from Leamington. This gentleman had been exploited by county lines drugs gangs who took over his address and threatened him with violence. After reaching out to one of Leamington’s local charities for help with his own addiction an application for funds was submitted and granted by Meaningful Change for a six-month residential placement. We are delighted to report that the gentleman has successfully completed his rehabilitation program. He has now relocated to a new area and has been supported with employment.

Contactless Donations Device Installed …

We are very pleased to announce our first contactless donation point has been installed in the Royal Priors Shopping centre this Christmas. You will find this on the window of the Elf Workshop, on the Upper Mall, next door to Animal.

We are very grateful to those who have already made donations via the devices, virgin giving or by setting up standing orders. We will be posting information in the New Year about what this funding is supporting. We wish you a very Merry Christmas.

Helping Hands Big Sleepout 2020

THE AIM of the event is to raise vital funds for our work with the homeless and vulnerable adults in Leamington Spa, so we can help them to move on from their circumstances and become positive contributors to our town. We want to use this opportunity to think more about the issues of homelessness and the circumstances the homeless sometimes have to contend with. We also want to share the work we and others are doing in the town to support these local people in need.

As with last years Sleepout, the location of where you will rest your head will not be revealed to you until the evening… We are not saying that by spending one night sleeping out you will get a true experience of how it feels to be homeless, however you will find this is a challenging and rewarding experience.

To find out more and be part of something big please register via Eventbrite by Clicking Here

Pictured at the launch of Meaningful Change Leamington outside the Visitor Information Centre are, from left to right, Jon Barnett (Warwick District Council), Ayyaz Ahmed (Warwick District Council), Chris Higgins (Helping Hands), Philip Seccombe (Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner), Sgt Trent McMurray (Warwickshire Police), Stephanie Kerr (BID Leamington), Aaron Greaves (Heart of England Community Foundation), Sue Verne (Helping Hands), Ljupka Stojanovska (The Salvation Army).

How Meaningful Change Began

This ground-breaking initiative to enable local communities to make a bigger impact on helping the homeless was made possible with funding from the Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner. The idea was to provide a single information and fundraising portal to both support vulnerable people via existing Leamington charities and to signpost critical information to access and offer help through donating time, items, or money.

Stephanie Kerr, the Executive Director of BID Leamington played a key role in developing Meaningful Change Leamington, alongside local charities and Warwick District Council. Having worked alongside local charities for some time, Stephanie was well placed to bring the information and project partners together. In Leamington, the initiative is supported by Warwick District Council, Change Grow Live, ESH Works, Helping Hands, LWS Night Shelter, Leamington Night Shelter, P3, and The Salvation Army Way Ahead Project. Alongside this, the Heart of England Community Foundation is the independent Charity partner.





Facts & Figures about Homelessness

It is far more cost-effective to prevent people from becoming homeless or to get them securely accommodated as quickly as possible. (The Big Issue)

Research from the 2015 At What Cost report estimates that the cost of a single person sleeping rough in the UK for 12 months costs £20,128 while successful intervention costs only £1,426 in comparison.

Evidence shows that people who experience homelessness for three months, or longer, cost on average £4,298 per person to NHS services, £2,099 per person for mental health services and £11,991 per person in contact with the criminal justice system.

Cost of a Single Person Sleeping Rough (12 months)

Cost of Intervention

Approximate Number of Rough Sleepers in the UK (Dec 2018, Shelter)

Estimated Number of People Classed as Homeless in UK

Number of UK Households in Temp Accommodation (Dec 2017)

Number of Children in Temp Accommodation in the UK (Dec 2017)