A COUNCILLOR has called for a specialist agency to be set up to help the homeless, calling it 'a massive issue' for the city.

Malvern Hills District councillor Tom Wells was speaking after he and members of his choir, Sabrina Voices, had raised funds from their concerts over Christmas for two Worcester charities.

Cllr Wells said: “We have spent a couple of days working with two local charities: Maggs Day Centre and the Worcester Street Cafe, and it was really quite illuminating.

“We spent a long time there speaking to these people and came away feeling completely humbled. They are struggling with the demand and the issue is massive in Worcester - I didn’t realise how many homeless people there are.

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“Almost 30 people turned up on one morning, many with substance abuse or mental health issues. Lots of them were young men - it is a terrible situation.”

Cllr Wells said that, despite the work being done by the charities, more needs to be done to help people who are homeless or sleeping rough access the help they need.

He added: “We need an agency focussed on helping with substance abuse or mental health issues, as well as access to benefits and housing. It shouldn’t be relying on volunteers - if they decided to do something else instead of helping out, what would happen?”

The choir has 50 members and has been going from strength to strength in the year since it was formed. New members are being encouraged to join as it approaches its first anniversary. For more information or to find out about joining, call Tom Wells on 07702996203 or email talwells@btinternet.com.