Cared for by Karshare: Q&A with BOSH

Part 2 of our Cared for by Karshare series sees us checking in with Julie Dempster, Founding Director of Bristol Outreach Services for the Homeless (BOSH), a charity in Bristol. Mum of two and grandmother to two gorgeous grandchildren, Julie has lived in Bristol for around five and a half years. BOSH have been working with Karshare to borrow a van throughout the pandemic to support their services across the city.

Karshare: Hi Julie! To start us off, tell us a little bit about BOSH.

Julie: BOSH provides an outreach service twelve times a week for rough sleepers and the vulnerably housed in Bristol. We serve hot meals provided by Cheers Drive/Caring in Bristol, a variety of sandwiches and salads, pastries and cakes donated by Pret a Manger and Greggs, fabulous home made cakes baked for us, hot drinks, clothing, toiletries and other basic necessities. We are also able to offer access to showers via Help Bristol’s Homeless. On top of that, BOSH provides support and advocacy appointments, dealing with housing, benefits, maintaining tenancies and more. We also offer a food parcel delivery service to those in accommodation and furniture starter packs for people moving into their new home.

Karshare: How has the Karshare van supported your service across Bristol?

Julie: We first heard about Karshare through Help Bristol’s Homeless. Since borrowing the van, we have been able to increase the amount of food parcels we deliver on a weekly basis by 29, tripling our usual amount – and the quantity of food we can now provide has increased. We have also been able to deliver furniture to beneficiaries as soon as they are given accommodation, instead of spending time working out when we’d be able to hire a van for a weekend. The amount of clothing and food we can now take on outreach has also increased massively.

Karshare: Other than car sharing, what is your favourite sharing idea?

Julie: I would say sharing resources. Collaboration is key!

Karshare: How do you think people can make a positive difference in Bristol?

Julie: Be humble, be kind, and remember that homelessness can happen to anyone. #homelesslivesmatter

If you would like to support BOSH, a donation of £25 covers the monthly cost of providing a person with food twice a day, access to empathetic support and advocacy services, clothing, a laundry service, toiletries, travel, a food parcel delivery for those who have moved into accommodation and so much more....

If you are a health worker, volunteer, charity or care worker in need of a vehicle, we have a fleet of cars available to support you. Please contact us!