The idea for BOSH – Bristol Outreach Services for the Homeless – started when the founder, Julie Dempster, was frequenting Bristol Haematology & Oncology Centre to receive regular treatment for an aggressive form of breast cancer. Noticing the extent of the homeless situation on her regular trips through the town, Julie felt driven to create a much-needed warm, safe space and to provide key provisions for those who need it the most.
Starting its journey as a pop up in the park, BOSH has now acquired a premises on Bond Street in the heart of Bristol. Clients visit the hub daily to charge their phones, do their laundry, and other daily tasks that may seem simple, but make the biggest of differences. There is also access to useful services and a comforting atmosphere of support and community.
Mike Innes, Limbs & Things’ first Chairman, recognised Julie’s vision and became a mentor for BOSH, aiding its growth. Limbs & Things has continued to support BOSH over the past two years with their founder, Margot Cooper, maintaining a supportive relationship with the charity.
“We could not have set up the hub without the donations from Limbs & Things,” says Julie. “The hub has proven hugely beneficial in the short space of time that it has been open, to have a central space for clients to access services, to simplify their lives, which are already chaotic.”
The work of BOSH fills a key gap by offering not only food and services, but also compassion and companionship to those who may have nowhere else to turn. A quote from one client sums up the need for BOSH: “Thank you for helping me experience life again instead of just existing.”
Limbs & Things would like to encourage others to donate to this wonderful charity by visiting the BOSH website.