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01 SPRING 2014


Whitechapel News this issue Hospital Discharge Project Hub Homeless Resolution Older Persons Project Volunteering News Are you tenancy ready? Spotlight on Outreach Fundraising News Whitechapel Altogether Staff News

Preventing rough sleeping Since January 2012, Liverpool’s small team of Hub workers have aimed to prevent anyone new to homelessness from having to sleep rough. We try to offer a housing solution on the first day but if this is not possible the Night Sit-Up offers a safe place to stay overnight in the presence of a member of staff. We have seen an increase of almost 20% of people presenting to us and this, combined with the lack of suitable housing, means that people are now spending an increasing amount of time in the sit-up. Yet despite the pressure of increasing numbers less than 1% have spent a second night on the street.

99% Carol Barton, the Hub Manager, said, “Liverpool was the first city outside of London to establish a Hub and Sit-Up service. I am very proud of the team and the success we have had in securing long term solutions for people. Only a very small minority of people we have seen in the Hub were later seen rough sleeping - 1% in 2012 and 4% in 2013 – which demonstrates that timely intervention and the right solution will stop people becoming homeless long term.” We are hoping that the funding for this service will continue so people are not forced to sleep on the streets of Liverpool.

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Hospital Discharge project Being admitted to hospital can be a daunting experience at the best of times, but for homeless patients it can increase the feeling of exclusion from the rest of society. Despite the care from nursing staff, a lack of visits from family and friends, no money for “treats” such as TV or magazines and knowing they may face a return to the streets, can leave patients lonely and depressed. This provides us with an invaluable opportunity to link in with homeless patients at a time when they are most likely to be motivated to make positive changes in their lives. Since October The Whitechapel Centre has been leading on a 6 month pilot “Hospital Outreach Service”, in partnership with other agencies. The service aims to prevent patients from returning to sleeping rough and to improve communication between hospitals, GPs and accommodation providers. The team of 3 outreach workers are based at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and Whiston Hospital. In the first 15 weeks the team assessed 108 people and ensured 80% were discharged to appropriate accommodation. There are a number of reasons why we did not secure a housing

solution for the remainder – some were transferred to other hospitals for on going treatment and others took their own discharge so did not give us a chance to help them with their housing. Karen Ryan, who is part of the team at the Royal, explains “As well as practical help finding somewhere for homeless people to go, we also provide support and encouragement during their stay. Often our clients would not get any visitors and, like everyone else, they appreciate a friendly face. This has helped some to stay in and complete their treatment where previously they may have self discharged. The staff at the Royal are really supportive of our clients and want to help them to make changes to improve their health. Being discharged with somewhere to go to means medical care can be followed up and health is less likely to deteriorate. Staff now know to call us if they have anyone experiencing homelessness.” The pilot concludes in April but we are looking at how agencies can work together to ensure the positive work continues for homeless patients.

Older Persons Project Whitechapel’s older person project provides high quality support to people aged 55 and over. The team is made up of 4 skilled workers Delphine, Rita, Lisa and Liz and is managed by Margi Dickson. We support people living in inappropriate accommodation to move on to a more suitable tenancy. This could be with an Registered Provider (Social Landlord) or a private landlord, enabling them to live more independently. We help with housing applications as well as the practical stuff like the move itself and setting up all gas, electric and water. We work with sheltered housing and extra care schemes to improve access for older people with support needs. We help individuals to fulfil the responsibilities of a tenancy, such as: paying for accommodation; budgeting & managing debts; getting on with neighbours; accessing all of the necessary services for the accommodation e.g. dealing with repairs; ensuring accommodation is safe and secure; reduce isolation, increase social engagement, build confidence.; support people to access any drug, alcohol, medical, mental health services. If you, or someone you know, would like more information you can contact Margi on 0151 207 8626 for a chat.

John attended our 13 week prevolunteer activity programme at the Enablement Centre. At first he had very little confidence and was extremely angry about his past, which included the breakdown of a relationship and the loss of his home. As each week passed John gained confidence, was calmer and started demonstrating excellent team work skills. The activities he took part in included trips out, skills training such as citizenship skills, conflict resolution and group work. John completed the 13 week course gaining a pre volunteer graduation certificate. John was encouraged to apply to become a Whitechapel volunteer. He successfully completed the volunteer training programme and is proving to be an invaluable member of the volunteer team. he particularly excels at managing donations and helping the triage with clients arriving at the Enablement Centre. The Whitechapel Centre aims to provide high quality training to enable homeless and socially excluded people to become skilled volunteers. We recognise that people experiencing h om e l es s n es s m a y a l s o h a v e experienced addiction and criminal justice involvement so please do not feel that this is a barrier.

Volunteering News Both our Pre-Volunteering course and our Volunteer training are open to all. Prevolunteer course takes place every Tuesday at 12.30pm. Volunteer training is every quarter. If you are interested in joining us, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Call; 0151 207 7617, Email; or call into the centre. We look forward to hearing from you.

No Second Night Out Merseyside deals with it’s 1,000 client! Since the 24 hour phone line was set up in January 2012 we have received a huge number of calls from the public telling us about people who need our help. In March 2014 we worked with our 1000th client, a 51 year old man who was new to rough sleeping. We were able to find him suitable accommodation so that he didn’t need to spend a second night out on the streets. If you, or someone you know, needs help please call us

0300 123 2041

Are you Tenancy Ready? The Whitechapel Altogether Group is currently working with Crisis to develop a training course for service users who live in, or are considering a move to, a private rented property. The course of 6 half day sessions (10am—1pm, including lunch) begins in April. The training will look at every aspect of moving home, including practical and emotional impact such a move can have. It looks at your housing options, helps you try and find the right home, gets you

ready for the move and helps you make your money go further; helps you make your house a home and provides advice about how to live with flatmates. You will be given lots of useful information to give you the best opportunity to make your move a success. You will be given help to write a tenant CV and will be awarded a certificate of attendance to help demonstrate to prospective landlords that you are tenancy ready. For more information please speak to your support worker or contact the Whitechapel Centre.

Fundraising News Well done to everyone who took part in the Liverpool Half Marathon. 5 brave runners took on the 13-mile challenge and raised over £750 and counting!

Spotlight on: Outreach When the Government pledged to eradicate rough sleeping by 2012, Whitechapel’s Rough Sleeper Outreach Team knew a tough job lay ahead! The team’s role is to get alongside people sleeping out and support them into accommodation. Once indoors, the workers continue to support their clients to settle into their new homes – be that a hostel or private rented accommodation. The team is managed by Russell Ainslie and comprises of three generic workers (Peter, Keith and Lisa) and two specialist workers – Jo who works across Merseyside and Gaynor who supports people with complex needs. All the team take part in early outreach twice a week, setting off at 6am to check rough sleeping sites and reports of people sleeping out. Once a month the team take part in a ‘mini count’ which starts at midnight and covers most of the city centre, ensuring we don’t miss people who

may get up before early outreach starts. The team also respond to calls from members of the public made on the No Second Night Out reporting line. Many of the people supported by the team are ‘entrenched rough sleepers’ who have lived outside for a long time, or who find it a struggle to remain in settled accommodation for long.

“No two days at work are the same!” It’s important that staff build up trusting relationships with the people they’re supporting – lots of the team’s clients have ‘given up’ on themselves so their role is to stick with people, continue to suggest options and ensure that when the time is right they’re there to offer speedy solutions. The team also work intensively with new rough sleepers, ensuring they link in with Hub staff so that they don’t get drawn into the chaos and dangers of street living.

Outreach Worker Keith said, “No two days at work are the same! Sometimes my role is to react to crises by helping people sort their benefits, attend court, find them new accommodation or take them to hospital. On other days I might have planned appointments with the people I support – for example to accompany someone to an assessment for detox or link in with psychiatric services. I really enjoy the variety my job brings, and it’s a great feeling when I can see someone through from the streets into a more settled way of life!” As for eradicating rough sleeping – the team’s not there yet, but while homelessness and rough sleeping is on the increase generally in the UK, we’re proud that the numbers of people sleeping out in Liverpool remains stable.

Good luck to all our runners who will be taking on some big challenges in the next few months, including the Spring 10K, the London Marathon and the Rock’n’Roll marathon.

Katie with her medal!

DIARY DATE! Liverpool Festival Choir will be performing a concert at Mossley Hill Church at 7.30pm on Saturday 5th April. The concert will be opened by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Cllr Gary Millar. Admission is free, all welcome. All proceeds will go to the Whitechapel Centre.

Staff News The last couple of months have seen a few staff changes and a couple of new faces join the team. A big Whitechapel Welcome goes to Rob Payet who joins us from Riverside ECHG. Rob has the task of filling Clair Smith’s boots as she moves over to manage our new Floating Support Pilot Service which will be running until July. Clair will be joined by Paul Black who has also taken up a secondment to the new project. Amanda Moore has moved into the Dual Diagnosis team in Paul’s place and Andy Kinsella has joined the staff team as Waking Night Sit Up Worker. Lorraine Wright has joined Business Services and will take responsibility for HR support. Ali Bellamy has moved to the Enablement Centre to support our volunteer programme and Sandy Clarke has moved to Friary House.

Whitechapel Altogether Group We spoke to Jim, an active member of the Whitechapel Altogether Service User Group I was born in Liverpool in 1954 and was one of seven children. My father was a merchant Navy seaman during the war and then became a publican. My earliest memories were all centred around pubs and we lived above them for most of my childhood. Life at home was hard and I would spend lots of my time in my room alone.

I moved into my new home in the summer of 2013 and haven’t looked back. I feel much better living in sheltered accommodation, it makes me feel safe and there is always someone about if I need medical help.

Jim receiving his certificate

My parents were tough with me and I often felt bullied, both at home and in school. I was often picked on and as a result withdrew from people. I left school at 16 without any qualifications and drifted aimlessly from job to job. My self-esteem was constantly low and I felt I had no identity, I felt like a ghost not seen or heard by anyone. I felt unimportant and worthless. I found communicating with people almost impossible and would spend my days walking around the streets whilst avoiding crowds or confined to my room on my own. I had not developed any social skills and had few friends to speak to or confide in. This lifestyle led to my health deteriorating and a lifetime of depression and paranoia followed. I did receive support from another agency, however they went into administration and left me high and dry. There was no safety net for me and things soon spiralled out of control and my health began to decline even further. Last year, whilst living in a shared house, I was introduced to The Whitechapel Centre and my support worker, Brian. He helped me immediately. He made appropriate referrals to the medical profession and I started receiving the right treatment and medication. My health improved and I was supported with finding suitable accommodation that met my needs.

Brian encouraged me to attend Whitechapel’s Enablement Centre and I soon became involved with the Altogether Group, which meets monthly. I feel able to communicate within the group and feel valued, this has raised my self-esteem and I am a little more confident within groups. Previously I would have run a mile rather than mix with a group! I have become more sociable and approachable and I will continue involvement with the Centre as I want to improve my IT skills and I can do this at the Centre. I am not yet 100% but I can cope much better with social situations and feel more well-adjusted, my problem solving skills were once nil, but I can now sort out issues with most things including my health, housing and finances. GET INVOLVED! Whitechapel Altogether is currently developing its action plan for the period 1st April 2014 to 31st March 2015. If you have ideas about events and activities that would be of help and interest to you, please come along to our next meeting. We meet on the last Friday of every month from 2.30pm to 4pm at the Centre. Your thoughts and ideas make all the difference.

Langsdale Street, Liverpool L3 8DU | Tel: 0151 207 7617 | Fax: 0151 207 4093 E-mail: |

Whitechapel Centre Service User News - Spring 2014