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Homeless charity's supporters meet

PUBLISHED: 17:23 22 May 2009 | UPDATED: 13:35 24 August 2010

by Nadia Sam-Daliri A homeless charity held a special event at the House of Commons to thank all its supporters. Cricklewood Homeless Concern (CHC) headed to Westminster to give volunteers and donators a chance to meet each other. The cen

by Nadia Sam-Daliri

A homeless charity held a special event at the House of Commons to thank all its supporters.

Cricklewood Homeless Concern (CHC) headed to Westminster to give volunteers and donators a chance to meet each other.

The centre in Ashford Road, Cricklewood was set up by Danny Maher more than 20 years ago to help Irish immigrants who had fallen on hard times but has now branched out into other community projects.

Elmi Aden, a trainee youth leader, is one of many young men and women CHC have brought on board to tackle youth disengagement before it leads to unemployment, crime or homelessness.

Mr Aden said: "I was part of a group hanging around on the streets and people found us intimidating, even though we weren't doing anything wrong. Police were asking shopkeepers about us and it felt like everyone was against us. We're here now to give young people advice and show them there's more to do with your life."

The team are forming a youth parliament for 19 to 25-year-olds who they believe are being left out of the majority projects aimed at young people.

Brent's existing youth parliament only caters for those up to the age of 18.

Charlotte Curran, CHC's housing director, said: "This is preventative work. Some of these people are at risk of ending up on the streets and we want to help them before it gets to that stage."

Sarah Teather, Lib Dem MP for Brent East who invited CHC to Westminster, said: "CHC shows that homelessness isn't just a problem for one charity. It can affect anyone at any time. They've made a difference because they are phenomenally organised and reach out to every part of the community."

Danny Maher, CHC's director, said: "It's great to get all this support into one room. It shows we don't run as an individual charity but work with our community."

David Jamilly, CEO of Theme Traders, in Oaklands Road, Cricklewood has donated cash to the charity.

He said: "We've seen an amazing transformation in the area since CHC has expanded. Danny has created a modern approach to homelessness and it's really tackled stigmas against homeless people."

nadia.sam-daliri@archant.co.uk


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