Homes for rough sleepers, funded by DHP Family’s Beat The Streets, officially open

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Former rough sleepers in Nottingham will be moving into brand new homes named in honour of DHP Family bosses whose Beat The Streets festival made the new housing possible.

The eight purpose-built flats in Nottingham have been officially named Akins House after brothers George and Sean Akins – the directors of Nottingham-based live music promoter DHP Family.

Beat The Streets – the annual one-day music festival dedicated to raising funds to support work with local rough sleepers by the charity Framework – launched in 2018 and has taken place in January each year. Funds raised from tickets, bar sales and merchandising at each festival have been used in a variety of ways to house and support rough sleepers.

The £89,500 raised at Beat The Streets in January 2023 was essential in enabling the £1.4m building project to go ahead: the money completed the funding required for the project at a time when prices were rising steeply. It was the first time that Beat The Streets funds had been used to support a capital project.

Work began on the building last summer and has recently been completed. The flats will be occupied in the coming days, offering a permanent home with personalised support to help each resident live independently. This includes access to drug, alcohol and mental health support and employment guidance.

Framework’s deputy chief executive Claire McGonigle said:

“The contribution of DHP Family to our work with rough sleepers in Nottingham since 2018 has been remarkable, vital, and unprecedented. Never before has a private business supported our work in this way or to this extent. Nearly £500,000 has been raised through DHP’s award-winning music festival Beat The Streets. These funds have been used in a variety of ways and have helped to change hundreds of lives for the better.

“Beat The Streets festival ensured that we had all the funds in place to proceed with the project for eight flats for former rough sleepers at Birkin Avenue. Without these funds, the project could not have gone ahead.

“It is therefore fitting that the name of the new premises should celebrate the vision of DHP directors George and Sean Akins in creating Beat The Streets. In naming our new accommodation Akins House we are also paying tribute to the thousands of people who have bought into George and Sean’s vision for Beat The Streets over the years and played a part in making each year’s event such a special occasion – the staff at DHP; the hundreds of bands, solo artists, technicians, stewards and administrators who so generously give their time and talent; and the large and enthusiastic audiences who come along each year. Thank you to all of them.

“We are also most grateful for the core capital funding from the government’s Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme and for Nottingham City Council’s support for the project overall.”

Managing Director of DHP Family, George Akins, said:

“Everyone at DHP is proud of the funds we have raised for Framework since starting Beat The Streets in 2018. Contributing towards permanent accommodation is a great achievement, and we’re very pleased to see the tangible difference the festival is making to the lives of local homeless people.

“With our total raised almost at £500,000 now, we look forward to continuing to support Framework’s important work. Thank you to all the artists, attendees and staff who have contributed time, effort, and money to make our fundraising so successful.”

In the five years since the first Beat The Streets festival in 2018 nearly £500,000 has been raised in total. In 2022 Beat The Streets received national recognition by winning the Sarah Nulty Community Impact Award at the UK Festival Awards.

Several hundred homeless people have received support which has been fully or partly funded through Beat The Streets. This has ranged from providing emergency shelter, urgent health assessments, and periods in specialist-supported housing, to resettlement plans and permanent homes with personalised support. This integrated approach aims to set people up for success and prevent them from falling back into the cycle of repeat homelessness.