James Bawa, the CEO of Newport-based Monmouthshire Building Society, has this month donated his annual bonus to The Wallich, along with an overseas education charity.

The funds will be used specifically by the Newport Rough Sleepers Intervention Team which provides a vital outreach service to support homeless and vulnerably housed people in relation to wide-ranging issues such as accommodation, physical and mental health, financial inclusion and substance misuse issues.

By enhancing the support currently offered, the team aims to increase the chances of successful outcomes for those affected and help prevent them becoming entrenched in homelessness.

The Wallich has been providing accommodation and support services for homeless people for over 30 years. We specialise in providing services for people with multiple, complex needs; people who, because of their high support needs, are often banned or excluded from other services and have difficulty in accessing accommodation. Our ultimate aim is to ensure that all people have access to support that is appropriate to their needs, and that long term solutions, rather than short term fixes, are developed in partnership with each person.

James commented: “I’m relatively new to Newport, having joined the Society in November 2016, and it struck me early on just how visible the issue of homelessness is in and around the city centre. I’ve been inspired by the countless people I see buying snacks or handing over change, and wondered if there was anything I could do to make a difference. Choosing to give back to the community via such a worthwhile charity was an easy decision for me to make, and I hope that my decision inspires others in similar positions to give back to the communities that they serve.”

Denise Rogers, Assistant Manager at The Wallich in Newport commented: “It is incredibly heartening to know that local business people are prepared to stand and be counted in making positive change. There has been a huge rise in the numbers of rough sleepers in Newport and the team are working tirelessly to provide the necessary support for this extremely vulnerable group. However, with very limited resources, it is becoming increasingly difficult to provide support to so many at the levels required. This money will have a huge impact on our provision and as well as helping us to meet the challenges, it will make a difference to those on the streets of Newport for a long time to come.