Support for Dacorum homelessness charity is a ‘life or death’ situation as winter approaches

Volunteers raise funds and awareness in Hemel Hempstead town centre for DENS Week.
Volunteers raise funds and awareness in Hemel Hempstead town centre for DENS Week.

Dacorum’s homelessness charity is celebrating a successful awareness and fundraising drive as it prepares to enter its most difficult time of year.

The annual DENS Week event saw the organisation – which has now been in action for 10 years – supported by many volunteers who stepped up to man information stalls, collect donations and even bake cakes for sale.

A weekend event in Marlowes raised £860, while a half-price sale in the DENS charity shop and furniture warehouse also raked in much-needed funds.

The charity’s chief executive Andrew Liversidge said: “DENS Week is an important event for us as it raises the issue of homelessness on our doorstep.”

Over the last year, the charity has seen an increase in the number of homeless people in Dacorum coming to DENS, particularly those aged 18 to 25.

Mr Liversidge added: “Every night, 100 people in Dacorum sleep rough in parks, sheds, car parks or anywhere they can find some shelter.

“As winter approaches and temperatures drop, being homeless can be a matter of life and death so it’s important we have the funds to help remove this danger. The support of local residents and businesses is vital to us.”

A month-long promotion by Specsavers in Marlowes, which is itself celebrating its 18th birthday this month, also contributed more than £1,000 for DENS through collections and donating £1 for every eye test to the charity.

Dispensing director at the store Mervyn Marsh said: “We prefer to support local charities to national ones because it is local people who support us, and DENS is a fabulous institution.”