Happy Days is a registered charity that operates supported accommodation for 103 residents throughout Calderdale and Kirklees, helping those who have been street homeless, are recovering from addictions, have poor mental health, or have been referred via probation services.
We offer a bespoke programme of meaningful activity and volunteering opportunities to support each resident to reach independent living and live purposeful lives beyond supported accommodation.
Through our collaboration with Christians Together Calderdale we deliver a broad range of services for people experiencing homelessness and food poverty. These include Halifax Food Bank and The Winter Shelter at The Gathering Place.
The Winter Shelter is an essential part of the mission of both charities in the local community and is made possible thanks to strong strategic partnerships and the commitment of our staff and volunteers. It provides 56 bed spaces per week on average to the homeless – 1,456 over 6 months.
The Gathering Place has on-site wound and sexual health clinics, a weekly drop in mental health support service and during the operating period of The Winter Shelter hosts a twice weekly drop in drug and alcohol clinic run by Calderdale Recovery Steps. We provide comprehensive training to our staff and volunteers including safeguarding, drug and alcohol, first aid, CPR, Naloxone and trauma informed care training.
To bring an end to homelessness across the UK and empower people to live independent and purposeful lives.
Providing safe accommodation, routine, and structure
volunteering and employability skills in a community
setting to bring about sustainable change in people’s lives.
We are committed to developing our people
We commit to seeking partnerships to support our people to build strong foundation.
We value everyone as intrinsically worthy of love and respect, regardless of background or belief.
We endeavour to work in the spirit of forgiveness and acceptance and be brave enough to be honest and act with integrity.
Our Board of Trustees are a group of volunteers that are tasked with strategic planning, agreeing polices, supporting fundraising and providing financial and safeguarding governance for the Charity.
All of our Trustee’s are trained to Safeguarding level 3 and meet bi-monthly to review all safeguarding incidents in line with policy to ensure accountability for safeguarding excellence throughout the charity.
Our board is made up of expertise in Homelessness, Accountancy, Business Acumen, Safeguarding, Charity Management and Leadership.
“Addiction is a disease of isolation; you feel isolated from everybody and even yourself. Reflections is a 26 bed, and we take people with addiction and mental health problems, and we give them a safe space where they can deal with the trauma and deal with the pain and the hurt they have been numbing all their lives. The next problem they have is how do they fit into a society that has shunned them and that hasn’t wanted them, that’s why we partnered with Happydays and in that time they sent 5 people to Reflections for recovery and then we refer them back to Happydays to prevent them from falling back into addiction through not knowing how-to live-in society. Happydays support people at risk of homelessness and give them the skills for employment. They accept people and they guys that have come to Happydays are doing amazingly well, they are flourishing here. Its turned their lives around so its been a really great partnership.”
I was at the salvation army in Bradford, a homeless hostel, they helped me get a flat in Halifax. Independent living didn’t work out and I was given an eviction notice with only 5 days to find somewhere to live. On the last day I met Dave Fawcett at the food bank where I was volunteering, and he offered me a place to stay at Happydays in supported accommodation. Happydays have done so much for me. I got accommodation, support, volunteering opportunities and when I felt ready, they offered me independent living in a move on property where there is light touch support if I need it. I now volunteer at Happydays hub, and I work part time as a caretaker. My life is so different now and I finally feel happy.
My mum passed away, I got into debt, and I lost my property and became homeless. I slept rough at the back of the YMCA for 2 months. Halifax Street Angels looked after me and checked in on me, they brought me a cuppa and a biscuit. A local church supported me to get accommodation and eventually I ended up being housed at Happydays in supported accommodation. Happydays gave me a home, they supported me to sort out benefits and debts, they gave me volunteering and a chance to be part of a community. When I felt ready, they supported me to move on to independent accommodation with light touch support. I am happy now and for once in my life I feel settled.
I became homeless due to a broken relationship and alcohol issues. Debts built up and rent arrears and it became unmanageable. I couldn’t cope anymore, and I turned to crime. I left my home and started sofa surfing. I felt I was getting under people’s feet, so I put my backpack on and went on to the streets. I was sleeping in a cave or under a viaduct for 8 weeks and then one day I decided to climb up to the top of a viaduct and end it all. When I got the top, I suddenly thought, I’m better than this and decided to get help. The council sent me to the gathering place, where I stayed for about 8 weeks, and I was introduced to Dave Fawcett who offered me a room at Happydays. Happydays supported me through a court case and because I was in supported accommodation and the system could see that I was getting my life sorted with Happydays support, I didn’t get a prison sentence. I was so grateful and from that day I decided to work with the Charity and take on their suggestions in a positive way. I was introduced to John who became my mentor. John asked me what I wanted to do in life, and he offered me opportunities and saw potential in me. It was then I became involved in the rucksack appeal. I wanted to help other homeless people by supplying a rucksack, sleeping bags and essentials. I started collecting things from charity shops and eventually they started giving me things free. I was asked to meet with the rotary club, and they asked to partner with me. We have now given 250 rucksacks out and we expect this to continue to rise. The project has been on BBC look North and im proud to be a part of it. I now live in my own private rental under light touch support from Happydays. I am a Charity volunteer and ambassador for Rucksacks for the homeless. I have just done a interview for a monthly rotary club magazine that goes out to Yorkshire and Lincolnshire and I do all kinds of charity events to fundraise such as sleeping rough for the night. My life is so different today. I believe that I was meant to go on this journey to meet all of these lovely people and when anyone looks at me now, I’m smiling!
Gareth grew up in Coventry in foster care and then when he was 19 he moved up to Huddersfield, he had a couple of jobs but was made redundant and then moved to Halifax in 2007 to live with his girlfriend. He was did not suffer from mental health or addiction but found himself street homeless "It was really cold and Christmas time, I lived in an old disused boiler room." Gareth was homeless for 3 months during the Winter months. Joe a former Happydays resident met Gareth who was sat outside Wilkinsons in Halifax town centre and he gave him food. A few days later Gareth moved into one of our properties, to re-build his life. Whilst with us, we helped Gareth land a full time job in Engineering. He now has his own home and got married to Angela six years ago. He has become good friends with his father and brothers again and regularly attends Huddersfield Town FC with his dad. In the future Gareth hopes to create a family and is very happily married... Thank you to Happydays for offering me support at a really difficult time"