Elim Connect Centre featured on BBC Countryfile
The Elim Connect Centre in Wells, Somerset, currently supports a number of rough sleepers including some living in local woodlands. Their work has recently been highlighted on BBC Countryfile and also in a report published by the Institute for Public Policy Research.
Airing earlier this month, BBC Countryfile saw Tom Heap looking at this first published report into the problem of homelessness in our countryside and he met with outreach worker Paul Kingston from Elim Connect Centre.
Homelessness in rural areas is on the rise but is often out of the sight with people living in woods caves or camping on the edge of fields. This makes it harder to spot and harder to resolve.
According to the IPPR report entitled 'Right To Home? Rethinking homelessness in rural communities', a fifth of all homeless cases occurred outside of England’s most urban areas. From 2010 to 2016, mainly rural local authorities recorded a 32% rise in cases of homelessness.
In areas that are 'largely rural', there has been a leap of 52%, and an almost doubling in 'urban areas with significant rural' (97%).
Despite the reported rise in rural rough sleepers, charities have warned that the hidden nature of the problem means it is easy for those affected to drop off the radar.
First shown on 9 Jul 2017, this episode of Countryfile is available to watch on iPlayer until 16 August.
Elim Connect Centre is a part of Elim, a world-wide mainstream Christian Church, and aims to serve the social, physical, spiritual, mental and emotional needs of their local community. More than a community project or a weekly church event, Connect state that they are all 'about the discovery of hope, meaning and strength through the connecting of our lives'.