Homelessness worker’s dedication recognised in Southampton

published on 19 May 2023

Local Salvation Army homelessness worker Debbie Futcher has been presented with a City of Southampton Award by the Lord Mayor, Cllr Jacqui Rayment at a special ceremony in the Lord Mayor’s Parlour in April.

The annual award recognises organisations or individuals who have made a difference to their local community. Debbie’s homelessness work was praised for her dedication to clients at The Salvation Army’s Booth Lifehouse (hostel) on Oxford Street, Southampton. The centre supports 56 people at any one time for up to 18 months to help them to move into permanent accommodation.

Debbie has worked in social care homelessness settings for 16 years and currently leads the ‘Somewhere Safe to Stay project’ at The Salvation Army, which provides a safe place for rough sleepers coming off the streets.

Debbie (right) pictured with the then Mayor of Southampton, Cllr Jacqui Rayment.

Debbie said:

“I’m so proud to have been recognised by City of Southampton’s Awards, but it really is a team effort and I am very honoured to be working with such fantastic, dedicated colleagues at Booth centre Lifehouse. There are many reasons why people become homeless including poverty, unemployment, domestic violence, abuse and ill-health. Our team at The Salvation Army offer a range of practical courses to help homeless people get a job, manage their money, look after themselves and develop healthy relationships, so they have the chance of a better future”. 

Jess Bishop, colleague to Debbie at the Lifehouse said:

“Debbie is committed to the centre, working over and above for our clients, many of whom return to the centre after years of living independently to speak to Debbie, or have asked for her when they have been struggling. She has been a great support to so many who have been in desperate situations, this is a fitting tribute to her hard work”.

Assistant Director of Homelessness services at The Salvation Army, Nathan Slinn said:

“We would like to thank Debbie for making a difference in her community and to those individuals she has supported with love and care. Debbie has made them feel accepted and welcomed in often very difficult circumstances. She has shown kindness and respect to people in everything she does. We would like to thank all  the people who work tirelessly in our homelessness services across the UK and Ireland, not just giving people a place to stay, but offering hope and a reason to get up in the morning”.



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