A new Brighton and Hove Bus hits the streets this week, decorated to celebrate the work of Brighton Housing Trust (BHT) which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
The art work for the bus was prepared by tenants and clients of BHT, working to the theme of ‘Journey’, reflecting their individual journeys as well as the primary business of Brighton and Hove Buses.
Brighton and Hove Buses’ Managing Director, Martin Harris, said: “The fact that the design of this bus was created by BHT clients makes it particularly special. Congratulations to BHT on their 50th birthday and huge respect to them for all the work they do for homeless people in this city. Bus wraps like this one help showcase some of the great work done by many of the wonderful charities in Brighton & Hove and give them a bit of well-deserved recognition.”
Brighton and Hove Buses has had a long-standing relationship with BHT, providing support for the work of First Base Day Centre and offering internships to some of their clients in our depots. (no need to put it in quotes but you can, if you like).
BHT chief executive, Andy Winter, said: “We are so grateful to Brighton and Hove Buses for this incredibly generous gesture to mark our 50th anniversary. We are fortunate to have a bus company in the city that is so engaged with community groups and charities, supporting our work and promoting what we all do.
“It is an honour to be recognised by them alongside other wonderful charities such as the Martin Fisher Foundation.
“We involved tenants and clients in preparing the art work which was then brilliantly pulled together by Jo Scrivener from Starfish who was a joy to work with.
“For 50 years we have been providing basic services for people sleeping on the streets together with the support services required to help them address the issues that took them onto the streets in the first place. First Base Day Centre provides the basics that people need for survival such as food, showers, laundry facilities, as well as advice and guidance to help them get off the streets. We provide specialist mental health and addiction recovery services as well as temporary accommodation and permanent housing.
“Last year we worked with 7,853 clients and tenants. 1,282 of them were sleeping rough, sofa surfing or otherwise without a home. 57% had physical or mental health needs.
“Since we were founded 50 years ago we have worked with around 250,000 people.
“What is particularly important is that we prevent homelessness. Last year mainly through our advice centres in Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings, we prevented 949 households from becoming homeless.
“The final step of what we do is to help people into employment. We have a very successful employment schemes working with many employers in the city including Brighton and Hove Buses. Over 20% of our staff are former BHT clients or who have themselves been homeless.”
Charlie Green, a tenant of BHT and who chairs the Tenants’ Scrutiny Panel, was one of those whose art work was used. He said: “BHT has really helped my recovery. It was wonderful to be involved in the bus project. Because I was trained as a carpenter I normally only draw in straight lines which explains why my ‘art work’ looks like that of a six year old! Having said that I feel really proud to have my work included both inside and on the side of the BHT bus.”