The National Rural Conference 2024

The Rural Services Network (RSN) is thrilled to announce the National Rural Conference 2024, taking place from 16th to 19th September. This virtual event, accessible via Zoom, is the premier gathering for senior officers, members, policymakers, and rural service professionals.
Further information and booking details can be found here

RSN joins celebrations as coalition wins Campaign of the Year award

RSN has joined partners in the ‘Rural Homelessness Counts’ Coalition to celebrate its win at the Affordable Housing Awards 2023.

The campaign “Homelessness in the Countryside – A Hidden Crisis” and the launch of the ‘Rural Homelessness Counts’ Coalition, won the Campaign of the Year award and continues to highlight the issue of rural homelessness in England.

The Coalition was launched earlier this year following research by the Universities of Kent and Southampton which revealed the depths of the homelessness crisis in rural areas.  The figures showed that rough sleeping numbers in rural areas rose by 24% in one year, and an alarming 91% of people working to tackle homelessness in rural areas have witnessed a rise in homelessness over the past five years.  The following campaign “Homelessness in the Countryside – A Hidden Crisis” used first-hand accounts of people living in desperate situations in rural areas and attracted both public and political awareness to the issue, including national media coverage.

RSN Chief Executive, Kerry Booth, is delighted with the success and what it means for future work:

“This award goes to show the power of partnership.  Working together through the Rural Homelessness Counts Coalition, we can truly raise awareness of this crisis and really begin to address this problem.  They say two heads are better than one; I say the more voices, the louder we are and the more people in power will listen.  We look forward to seeing what 2024 brings.” 

Head of Communications for English Rural, David Barrowcliff says the award goes to highlight the issue further

“The success of the campaign was crystal clear, with our report becoming a cornerstone in media discussions and our social media efforts reaching nearly four million people. The coalition has strengthened, with a unified voice that #RuralHomelessnessCounts and requires immediate, sustained attention.

Winning this award means more than just recognition for our hard work; it means that our message about the crisis of rural homelessness has resonated and created waves of change. It reaffirms our belief that when academic institutions, housing associations, and charities come together, remarkable impact can be achieved.

The ‘Rural Homelessness Counts’ Coalition has already started to see the fruits of our labour, with increased commitments from political figures and a growing public awareness of the crisis. With this award, we aim to propel our advocacy further, ensuring that the crisis of rural homelessness remains in the public eye and on the political agenda.”

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