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Council ‘strongly advise’ public not to donate food or money to those at ‘Camp Groves’

Wrexham Council have ‘strongly advised’ that members of the public do not donate food and money to those currently based on the Groves site – instead encouraging people to donate directly to charities or organisations offering services instead.

The request to the public has been made by the local authority in a statement, with further detail released to Wrexham.com noting that there is no timeframe for the camp to be cleared.

It comes after a makeshift homeless encampment was set up in the grounds of the former Groves School last month, and anecdotally we have heard it referred to over the last week as ‘Camp Groves’.

Over the past few weeks there has been a push locally for donations for those living on the camp; with members of the public and people involved with online groups set up to help Wrexham’s homeless, donating food, clothing, tents and general supplies to the vulnerable people living on the site.

However Wrexham Council are now calling on such donations to stop instead requesting that people give money and food to charities and organisations involved with helping those service users and vulnerable people in the long-term.

The statement reads: “You’ll likely have heard of some of the news around homelessness in Wrexham.

“The current use of the Groves is well-known, and we know that people want to do what they can to help out. Some people have already set up collections of supplies, food and money to support the vulnerable people currently on the site.

“We completely understand and respect people’s drive to help out those in need. After all, the service users and vulnerable people involved are human beings, and it’s only natural that people want to help.

“But it is strongly advised that you not give food or money directly to those in need.

“It might help them in the shorter term, but in the longer term, it means they have money to spend on drugs, which only locks them in to a dangerous and damaging habit – and nobody wants that.

“And if they get money and food from members of the public, there’s no incentive for them to engage with agencies that can support them long-term.

“Instead, consider giving what support you can to a charity which has the resources and expertise needed to help these individuals and tackle these problems in the long-term.”

The statement continues onto add: “Charities and similar organisations working in the area are always on the lookout for donors or volunteers, and will welcome support offered.

“For more information on how you can really make a difference and to find out more about where support is needed, contact Ty Nos, Holt Road, Wrexham, LL13 8NE (Ty Nos is run by the Clwyd Alyn Housing Association).”

At the start of August Wrexham.com reported that Wrexham Council were ‘tolerating’ the encampment on the Groves site and that they hoped for a ‘successful resolution’ to the situation.

Last week, after the installation of portable toilets at the site, we asked Wrexham Council if they comment on how long the facilities will be there and what other resources and amenities will be installed for those on the site. We also asked if there was a timeframe for a full site clearance.

On Monday, Cllr Hugh Jones, Lead Member for Communities, Partnerships, Public Protection and Community Safety, said: “There are no plans for the installation of any further amenities at the Groves site. The need for any further amenities will be assessed, should it arise.

“We do not wish to put any timeframes on work around the Groves as that could hinder the success of putting the individuals affected in contact with helpful services. But the merits and issues of having service users on a single site will be continually reviewed, and should it no longer be viable, then the area would be cleared.

“This is a temporary situation that is being tolerated whilst professionals work to ensure that the complex problems are addressed and alternative provision is made for them.”

Picture: The Groves camp yesterday.

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