Combating Homelessness, Creating Opportunities, Promoting Change

BHT Highlights:
January 2016

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1Feb

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:

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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.

Please click here for the orginal article in the Argus

Please click here to download a PDF of BHT’s analysis

Addiction Services

olivia_pinkney_W220The 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.

Central Services

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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.

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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.

Please click here to email Linda Bates for further information

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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.

Please click here for more information or to donate to this great cause

First Base Day Centre

ROCC-Logo_W300Andy, a client of the First Base Day Centre First Impressions work and learning programme took part in the first work taster session at ROCC Computers.

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.

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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.

juice-fm-logo_w300Simon Hughes, Operational Manager at BHT’s First Base Day Centre featured on Juice 107.2’s breakfast show.

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.

Please click here for more information on the Juice FM website about this exciting fundraising partnership

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.

PASH logoBHT’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-simon-hughes_W220Paul Bonnet from Bonnets Estate Agents dropped off some much needed toiletries at the end of last year.

Paul is best known for cycling from Orkney to Paris for BHT’s First Base Day Centre, and for being a driving force behind BHT’s annual Brighton to Paris bike ride.

Thank you, Paul!

Fulfilling Lives

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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.

Please click here to email your completed applications

BHT Heritage

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Three BHT Heritage clients from our First Base Day Centre were interviewed by fourteen 9-11 years olds from the Little Green Pig creative writing group.

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.

Housing Services

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?

Please click here to email Lorena Barroeta for further information

Phase One

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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.

Click here for the full story

Whitehawk Inn

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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.

Please click here to visit Stephen’s JustGiving page

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