A COMMUNITY hub by day and music venue by night has received lottery funding for its work to support rough sleepers.

The Rockhouse, in London Street, has secured £9,250 from the National Lottery’s Award for All scheme, for its Rock the Streets project.

The not-for-profit’s owner Tony Noakes is said to have been quietly helping homeless people “for some time”, offering food, clean sleeping bags and more, and now with almost the maximum amount of grant money which can be awarded, the team hopes to grow its support efforts.

Karen Hamilton, secretary of The Rockhouse and its charity The Abel Foundation, said: “For some time now The Rockhouse has been supporting the homeless, the team and Tony Noakes ensured they were well fed and watered, supplying goods that would be of benefit to someone living rough, to try and ease their difficulties, [and] going out in the evenings to check people were OK.

“The Rockhouse has been awarded funding by Awards for All Lottery for Rock the Streets to keep up this good work, we will work with other local service users to ensure support is offered all round.”

The lottery cash boost will support the project for a year, covering the expenditure for kitchen equipment, food and refreshments alongside running costs, to name a few.

The venue will receive the funds by January 14, and is currently in the planning stages of how to grow its support service and work with other homelessness support providers in the town such as The Bridge, in Bridge Street, run by Valley Church.

Becoming more public about what it has to offer and creating drop-in times for those in need are among the ideas to be discussed by campaign chiefs.

Karen added: “The Rockhouse has put out a plea to clients of the venue, to see if they have any items that would be of benefit to help.

“So many people have come forward to support this ongoing project.”

Anyone able to help should contact The Rockhouse via its website rockhouseandover.co.uk/community/ and then filling in the relevant form and selecting ‘other’.