Bromley Homeless has won Homelessness Project of the Year at the Affordable Housing Awards in Manchester. This is an outstanding achievement for an organisation that truly looks out to those most vulnerable in the borough of Bromley. Homelessness is a serious issue which is affecting lives across the UK, evidenced by a staggering statistic that, according to Public Sector Executive, around 1 in 50 Londoners are homeless and living in temporary accommodation, including 1 in 23 children. Homeless charities and other services work around the clock to provide a safe space and essential goods to those who need it the most.
The Bromley Homeless Charity, based at the Bromley United Reformed Church, offer a wide range of support to those who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. The Advice Service offers benefit support, housing support, hosted/emergency accommodation, eviction mediation, food, medical support, psychological support, addiction support and assistance with securing ID documentation. The charity also runs a Hosting Service which aims to assist those at most risk of sleeping rough by linking individuals to hosts who have an affordable spare room. These initiatives help to ease the difficulties experienced by those who are homeless at risk of homelessness, with clients receiving high quality compassionate care and support.
Bromley GP Alliance are proud to be partnered with Bromley Homeless to assist the charity in providing an on-site health team to assess and support those in need of medical care and assistance. Funded by One Bromley partners, they offer both appointment and walk-in advice to many that may not have immediate access to a GP, to provide high quality care to the vulnerable in the borough. Clients can be seen by our Nurse Practitioner Sarah Jackson, where they can ask any questions surrounding their health, receive vaccinations, be referred on to follow up GP care and be given prescriptions if they require them. Having this available to clients is vitally important to the wellbeing of the Bromley community and is appreciated by many across the area.
It is a true delight to see Bromley Homeless being recognised nationally at the Affordable Housing Awards in Manchester, where the charity was up against many incredible organisations who, just like Bromley Homeless, are striving to help those in need. To come away with the award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the charity, at a time when the country is experiencing a cost-of-living crisis, which has seen an increase in demand for this service.
Nurse Practitioner and Lead of the Bromley Homeless Health Team, Sarah Jackson: “It was a well organised day with some great people. We didn’t know we had won until the moment it was announced. We’re all really proud of the project and what we are already achieving. We know that we are making a difference and what we’re doing is really good – we know that we were up against some very good contenders!
It was brilliant going up on that stage and thinking “We’ve done it!” It is likely to be one of the highest awards that we would be able to win, so the fact that we have done that is an achievement, given the fact the homeless health project started this year. The only way is up from here!
As far as we were aware, we were one of the only nominees that were actively trying to involve health with the homeless population. We are providing that holistic care in one setting as some clients are not registered with a GP or will put their health needs last and not go elsewhere. We are trying to do a big thing here and I think that is what has made us stand out.
We’re already trying to get bigger and better. My next big step in terms of the health service is to involve mental health and have sessions each week. There will be a trial next year to try it out and get evidence to show it’s needed and then continue with that. Change Grow Live (CGL) are sitting on site once a week as well to give drugs and alcohol advice. We’ll also have access to the flat upstairs soon which will be available for those who need a room for the night, which shows we’re growing bigger and bigger as a service and a charity.”
Services Manager for Bromley Homeless, Kim Sutton: “Winning the Affordable Housing Award for Homeless Project of the Year was a tremendous achievement for all of the staff & volunteers of Bromley Homeless Charity. It was an incredibly gratifying and humbling experience.
First and foremost, there was the sense of validation & recognition for the years of hard work & dedication that went into getting the health project off the ground. Bromley Homeless Charity has worked with the homeless community for many years and the health project has added to our all-round holistic care.
Recognition on such a public platform will help raise awareness of homelessness and health that often go hand in hand. This newly found visibility could potentially attract more support, including funding and partnerships enabling the charity to upscale its efforts and reach even more people in need.
I would like to thank BGPA for their support and commitment and for taking my calls coming to meetings to make this happen. Sarah & Matt have proved to be invaluable to all our clients and the team at Bromley Homeless Charity.”
On winning the award, Bromley Homeless are as endeavoured as ever to continue the high level of support they provide to the most vulnerable across the borough. You can help too, by donating to the Bromley Homeless Charity, or delivering donations of food/clothes directly to the Bromley United Reformed Church.
For more information on the work of Bromley Homeless and how to donate, visit: www.bromleyhomeless.org
Check out our Bromley Homeless Health Team promotional video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pVf2zai0hM