The story of Wycombe Homeless Connection We've helped make a real difference in the past 10 years. No more so is this clearer than in the stories of the people we've helped. You can read these stories here. But how did we get to where we are today? We’ve helped thousands of people over the years and help around 400 vulnerably-housed individuals each year. But like everything, we had to start somewhere. This is 10 years of Wycombe Homeless Connection – a timeline of our landmark events which have got us to where we are today. 2006 Sheena Dykes of Union Baptist Church and Rev Paul Willis of All Saints start looking into how to tackle Wycombe’s homelessness situation. Josie Razzell – a local homeless person sleeping rough – is found dead in Easton Street car park on Christmas day. Rev Paul Willis and Sheena Dykes - founders of Wycombe Homeless Connection 2007 High Wycombe on market day Interested locals visit Camden, where seven churches operate a rolling shelter. An open meeting is held in Wycombe with an eye of doing something similar. Reaction is very encouraging! Wycombe-based host churches and volunteers are recruited. 2008 Wycombe Winter Night Shelter opens in 2008 The first Wycombe Winter Night Shelter officially begins operations in January! The shelter is hosted by a number of churches on a rolling basis. The first Art at the Shelter project begins. Ali Preston is appointed as Project Coordinator and the Oakley Hall Office opens its doors. Ali Preston, now Senior Support Worker 2009 Maxine Kant Maxine née Kant joins the team full time as a support worker. Paul Griggs joins the staff team as a full-time support worker. The volunteer database is set up by one of our volunteers, Anton Machacek. Registered charity status is achieved. 2010 Paul Griggs talking to some WHC clients The charity changes its name from Wycombe Winter Night Shelter to Wycombe Homeless Connection, reflecting that the charity works year-round. 2011 Jez, one of our guests we helped in 2011 Maxine Kant is succeeded by Rachel Brier. Our new website launches. Kerensa Boocock joins the team as an office administrator. WHC'S Annual General Meeting in 2011 2012 James Boultbee joins the team James Boultbee joins as operations manager and Hannah Gallant as volunteering coordinator. WHC is chosen by Mayor Chauhdry Shafique as one of his charities. Volunteers take over office admin and a monitoring stats system is created. Volunteers adopt the office admin role 2013 The Inspire service begins - these are group sessions aimed at helping people to get their mojo back and learn important skills like cooking and budgeting. An Inspire cooking session Bryony Albery succeeds Rachel Brier and the Tenancy Support service begins to help people sustain their tenancies. Bryony Albery - staff support worker The charity is named Community Group of the Year in High Wycombe’s Community Champions Awards. The Support Centre opens with five morning sessions in place of existing drop-ins. One of our Support Centre window designs 2014 Di Morrish starts at Volunteering Coordinator; WHC is recognised with the Queen's Award WHC is recognised with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. Di Morrish takes over as volunteering coordinator. The first Big Sleepout is held. 2015 St Mary’s and St George’s retires as a shelter host church. Support Centre volunteers take increasing responsibility. Support Centre volunteers help guests in a variety of ways - from filling out benefit forms to advocacy 2016 Kevin Boughen takes on the role of support worker; Vickie Morrish joins as communications officer Kevin Boughen joins the staff team full-time. Vickie Morrish joins as a part-time communications officer. WHC is chosen as one of the Mayor’s charities of the year. Mayor Zia Ahmed supports WHC 2017 WHC is 10 years old Our 10th Anniversary logo Lady Howe is named patron!