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The winter Housing Services newsletter, ‘Lighthouse’ is out now and available in print and screen versions.
Articles include a celebration of BHT turning 50, the election of new tenant Board members, Community days at Shanklin and Baird House, baked pumpkin fondue recipe, how well Housing Services are performing and a Christmas quiz.
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It has been another successful year for BHT, the Chair of the Board, Joan Mortimer, has reported to the AGM of BHT.
Last year BHT worked with 7,946 clients and tenants. We housed 514 tenants and their households. We accommodated 126 people in our specialist mental health services, 115 in our addiction rehabilitation services, 53 people under the age of 25 in our young people’s service in Hastings, 136 in our homelessness services such as the Phase One Project and the Accommodation for Work Project.
4,430 people received a service from our three advice centres in Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings, and from our Immigration Legal Service.
1,130 people used the rough sleepers service at First Base Day Centre. 432 took part in activities at the Whitehawk Inn, and 431 people received support and help from the Mental Health and Wellbeing service, including 151 women from Threshold Women’s Counselling Service.
BHT changes lives, and BHT saves lives, through our amazing range of services, and in partnership with so many other fantastic organisations in Brighton and Hove, Eastbourne, and Hastings.
Through First Base we helped 222 people move off the streets and into accommodation, and through the advice centres, we prevented 817 households from becoming homeless. Imagine what it would be like without BHT and our services?
Notwithstanding the positive contribution we have made to our communities and the lives of our tenants and clients, the sad truth is that BHT’s services are needed more than ever.
I would like to thank our supporters, our funders, our staff, my fellow Board members, volunteers, interns and peer mentors.
In particular I would like to pay tribute to our clients who on a daily basis show courage and determination to bring about change in their lives, by taking advantage of the opportunities BHT provides, so that they can combat their own homelessness, mental ill health, addictions, poverty.
Psychologically Informed Practice is being embedded throughout the organisation, recognising the work we do with people who have experienced severe and repeated trauma, and the impact that has on our staff.
Our services continue to be recognised for the quality of their work be it through inspections from the Care Quality Commission or the Specialist Quality Mark for our advice and legal services. The organisation has upgraded its ISO 9001 accreditation and we are seeking Silver accreditation from Investors in People.
We are a Disability Confident employer, a Living Wage employer, and a proud supporter of Time to Change – changing the way we all think and act about mental health.
Looking to the future, we have agreed a new Business Plan with ambitious, yet achievable objectives. We have strengthened our Board with three new members and we have recently selected two tenants to join the Board.
We can look forward with confidence as BHT moves forward in meeting the huge challenges we face up to and beyond 2020.
Joan Mortimer, BHT’s Chair of the Board.
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A new game called The Divide has been launched by Pier Pressure Escape Rooms, a local company who are donating 10% of the booking fees from this game to BHT.
Originally created by TimeTrap Escape Rooms in Reading, The Divide aims to highlight the unequal distribution of wealth within an escape room environment.
Phil Harris, the co-owner of Pier Pressure, said:
There’s a big homelessness issue in Brighton and so having this game that can help raise awareness fits in really well here.
The escape room is divided into two halves, contrasting an opulent domestic apartment with one inhabited by a less fortunate family. The aim of the game is to work between the two halves, with the various puzzles highlighting the disparity between the two settings. This week a few members of BHT staff went to trial the game.
Andy Winter, CEO of BHT said:
There were 178 people sleeping on the streets of Brighton and Hove at the last official count. The support of the Escape Rooms is of huge importance to our ability to support those people living on the streets. Through First Base Day Centre we are able to provide those basic facilities that most of us take for granted, such as toilets, showers, clean and dry clothes, hot drinks and a meal.
The Divide game designers were interviewed on BHT Bites, BHT’s weekly podcast where they discussed the game and how it originated in Reading.
The Divide is now open to the public and tickets can be booked via Pier Pressure’s website here.