Award celebrates help given to homeless by Rawtenstall worker

This Is Lancashire: Bill Lees, left, with director Graham Evans Bill Lees, left, with director Graham Evans

A COMMITTED charity worker from Rawtenstall has been honoured for 30 years of dedicated service to homeless people in the borough.

Bill Lees, a service manager at The Housing Link, in Radcliffe, was presented with a certificate to celebrate his allegiance to the charity since 1984.

The Housing Link provides accommodation for single people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness and who have complex support needs.

It provides accommodation from its main base in Radcliffe’s old town hall in Mather Street, from Castlecroft House in Castlecroft Road, Bury, and from various buildings across the borough.

Bill, 52, said: “When I started, we were a little project on the corner of Vernon Street and Walmersley Road, and we had one house to fulfil Bury’s homelessness needs. A team of four people were doing 24-hour cover.

“We now have a team of 21 and over 30 years we have supported and accommodated hundreds of disadvantaged people.

“I have always wanted to help people. I didn’t think I’d be doing this job for so long, but I am really glad I have been.”

Bill began work with The Housing Link in April 1984 at the age of 22.

He said service users of The Housing Link now deal with different problems than they did in 1983 and the challenges of the job have become more intense.

He said: “What has kept me going for 30 years? It is more than just my dad’s Victorian work ethic.

“I appreciate every day that I get working for The Housing Link, the opportunities I have had have been amazing and the people I work with are fantastic.”

Graham Evans, director at The Housing Link, said: “Bill joined the organisation as a volunteer only five months after it was set up.

“Thirty years on, he continues to demonstrate the same level of commitment and dedication as a service manager — providing the best possible service to people who find themselves in difficulty and distress.”

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