We are delighted to announce that the HOMELINK team has recently expanded to include Gary Brettle who has been appointed as a second part-time Client and Loans Manager. Gary will join existing Client and Loans Manager, Pippa Grace, and together they will lead the delivery of HOMELINK’s service at a time of unprecedented local demand for HOMELINK’s services and support.

With an 18.7% increase in people presenting as homeless in the Lewes District area since the start of the pandemic, demand for our service has increased significantly. During this time, Pippa and her team have done an incredible job of not only maintaining a full service locally but of also expanding operations. HOMELINK’s office hours have increased from three days to four and we are currently working at double our usual levels.

Based on current demand for our service and the imminent lifting of the eviction ban, we predict that 2021 will be our busiest year yet. The appointment of Gary at this time is therefore a significant step toward ensuring our team can sustain its current service levels and continue to provide our vital local services.

“I am so delighted to be sharing my job with someone of Gary’s exceptional commitment and experience,” Pippa said. “We are very confident that this strengthened team can meet the increased demand and needs of our clients at this very challenging time.”

Since starting work with HOMELINK, Gary has quickly settled into his new post. He job shares the Client and Loans Manager role, working two days of the week, with Pippa covering the other two days.

“I am very pleased and privileged to join this long established local charity. Homelessness in our area takes many forms from the highly visual street homeless to the less overt such as those living in unsuitable housing” Gary said.  “HOMELINK is here to support all these people wherever possible, and I am proud to be their new representative.

“From the outset I have felt the warmth of the HOMELINK ‘family’ of colleagues and trustees and will endeavour to share that warmth with our clients.”

Joan Wignall, HOMELINK’s Chair, is delighted at Gary’s appointment—the wealth of sector experience he brings to the role along with his ‘person-centered’ approach to work which has been evident throughout his career. Joan said:

“Gary has multi-agency experience, including work with Scope, and has knowledge and experience of housing challenges, policies, and the benefits system. He is also a very good communicator and is known for his drive, thoughtfulness and compassion.

“We are so pleased to welcome Gary to the HOMELINK team.”