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BHT prides itself on the quality and diversity of its services, producing a plethora of news stories. Read on for a round-up of BHT news highlights throughout January:
BHT appeared on the front page of The Argus in a report about an announcement in the Autumn Statement that would see rents in specialist supported housing capped to Local Housing Allowance Rates.
BHT Chief Executive Andy Winter was quoted saying how these changes would make it unaffordable from 2018 for people on benefits, particularly those under 35, to rent some of our homes.
The Deputy Chief Constable of Sussex, Olivia Pinkney, visited BHT and had dinner at BHT’s Recovery Project.
Olivia is one of the most senior women police officers in the country.
Brian Sudway, manager at the Recovery Project, reported that he had had some great feedback from residents about the visit who had said unanimously that they enjoyed the evening and that it was an immensely positive experience for them.
The first Swap Shop took place at the London Road drop-in.
This will be a monthly event open to all staff and clients, and participants can bring up to three items that they wish to swap.
The first Coffee and Cake event in the drop-in at head office took place, with all clients and tenants welcomed.
This monthly event allows clients and tenants to meet one another and share support. Clients and tenants are encouraged to attend, with free coffee, cake, tea and biscuits provided.
BHT’s Finding Futures project are carrying out another sponsored walk.
Their 2016 Pier to Pier Coastal Walk will take place on Saturday 28 May. Last year their target was £500 and they managed to raise just over £2,000!
Please contact Sarah Blessington at BHT Finding Futures for further details.
First Base Day Centre
Staff from ROCC coached Andy on interview techniques, explained what employers are looking for in an interview and gave him advice on entering the IT sector.
Andy said that he found the sessions inspiring and encouraging and he will stay in touch with ROCC whilst he completes an IT qualification.
If you have any clients that may like to get advice from people who work in a sector they would like to work, please call Frank or Sharon on 01273 326844 who’ll be delighted to help set up something.
The Mayor of Peacehaven held a Scottish themed night at Peacehaven Community House to celebrate Burns Night and raise much needed funds for First Base Day Centre.
The menu served by Dine included cock-a-leekie soup, haggis neeps & tatties and shortbread. Guests were also treated to a traditional ‘Addressing the Hagis’ ceremony, bagpipes and ceilidh dance.
The night raised £492 so far with more to come.
BHT has teamed up with the local radio station to highlight the issues of homelessness and rough sleeping in Brighton and Hove; last year BHT worked with 6,658 different men and women. 297 were aged 65 or over, with 84% of rough sleepers in Brighton and Hove reporting a physical health problem, while 85% report suffering a mental health problem.
The Severe Weather Emergency Protocols (SWEP) were activated for the first time this winter.
SWEP was active at BHT’s First Base Day Centre and opened overnight to provide shelter from the cold for people who are sleeping rough.
An Emergency Assessment Centre at BHT’s First Base Day Centre was held overnight for two consecutive nights.
Working with Sussex Police, St Mungo’s Broadway, Brighton and Hove City Council Housing and an A&E Nurse, they were able to work with clients who are disengaged from services to support them to re-engage and improve their health and housing.
BHT’s First Base Day Centre Sexual Health Project, PASH, was selected by Dr Gillian Dean, Joint Principal Lead Consultant for GUM & HIV Medicine, to feature at the Faculty of Public Health Conference in Brighton.
BHT’s First Base Day Centre was delighted to be told that its contract to provide sexual health services will be extended until March 2018
BHT’s First Base Day Centre welcomed Poppy Taylor and Jess Harrison, two Occupational Therapy Students, who joined First Base for a seven-week work placement.
Paul Bonnet from Bonnets Estate Agents dropped off some much needed toiletries at the end of last year.
Thank you, Paul!
The Fulfilling Lives: Multiple, Complex Needs Project is advertising for Volunteer Peer Specialists in Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings.
The roles would suit people who:
- have lived experience of homelessness, substance use, mental health or offending
- are currently volunteering or has previous experience as a peer mentor
- are passionate about supporting others and would like to develop their skills in working with individuals with the most complex needs
- are looking to gain an accredited qualification to help pursue paid work
Information sessions will be running in January. Please click here for full details.
They discussed their experiences of street homelessness in the city, and the young writers will use these experiences to create fictional stories which will be developed into an audio story walk through the streets of Brighton and Hove.
Lynn Webb, a BHT Housing Officer based in Hastings, has been commended by a Home Office representative for her great work with the Hastings Anti-Social Behaviour Risk Assessment Conference, and for her work to close a crack house in Hastings.
Shirley Campbell, a BHT Income Recovery Officer, achieved a backdated claim for £858 for a tenant in Hastings.
Mental Health & Wellbeing
BHT’s Mental Health & Wellbeing Service is recruiting Peer Support Volunteers.
These are people who have used BHT’s services and wish to use their lived experience to support others.
A new programme of free peer-led activities includes writing for wellbeing, mental health awareness & wellness planning, and a parenting group.
Interested in getting involved?
John Healey, the Shadow Housing Minister, came to BHT’s Phase One Project to discuss BHT’s research into the cap on rents charged in specialist supported housing to be introduced from 2018.
He brought a film crew from Channel 4 News. Also there were Cllr. Warren Morgan, the Leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, Cllr. Clare Moonan who is responsible for rough sleeping, and Cllr Anne Meadows, Chair of the Housing and New Homes Committee.
Gwyn Nicholas and Tracey Chandler, the deputy managers at Phase One, were very impressive in describing the work of the service. The visit featured in a report on Channel 4 News that evening.
As part of Winter Warmer week (organised by Due East Neighbourhood Council) BHT’s Whitehawk Inn project held an information session.
This raised awareness of groups who are providing support in the area. Representatives from Mind, the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, BHT’s Threshold and Mental Health and Wellbeing service, Amaze, LGBT Health Inclusion Project, SpeakOut and Racehill Community Orchard came along with flyers and leaflets about their service, and chatted to clients and learners in the centre.
Stephen Fairchild, the Caretaker at the BHT’s Whitehawk Inn project for the past 11 years, is raising money for his project by undertaking a 106km walk around the Isle of Wight.
Stephen will be walking 106km non-stop right around the Isle of Wight from 30 April – 1 May 2016, and will be one of about 1200 walkers and runners tackling this challenge.