New boots

Sylvia’s Fund was set up last October with a remit to issue small wellbeing grants to people who use Second Step services. We’ve been trialling the fund in Second Step’s housing project for people who have been homeless and this story is about Martin and a pair of new boots, bought from one of Sylvia’s Fund grants.

A proud, quiet man who has worked all his life, Martin has lived at Toll House Court, Second Step’s housing project in Bedminster, for the last five months. Martin is used to working and running his own home, and is now finding it difficult to adapt to losing his flat in Bristol and dealing with the aftermath of a number of strokes.

His support worker Kat applied to Sylvia’s Fund on Martin’s behalf, asking for a pair of boots. The fund, which consists of individual donations made to Second Step, offers current Second Step clients grants of up to a maximum of £50.

And with the arrival of the new boots, things have been looking up. Martin is delighted with them and said: “I wanted to do more walking….purposefully. When I got them, I tried them out and got as far as the bus stop!”

Martin is now making plans to see his elderly parents and also his two sons, who he hasn’t seen for a long time. He’s also hoping to walk out more in his boots. With Spring in the air, he says he thinks he’ll do some “crocus spotting”.

Sylvia’s Fund is to be rolled out from1 April 2019 to anyone currently receiving a Second Step service. The idea is that a small grant can make a big difference to people, as it has for Martin. To find out more about the fund and how to apply for a grant to help your or your client’s recovery, please contact Jane Edmonds on 07841 777401 or email

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