Combating Homelessness, Creating Opportunities, Promoting Change

BHT Highlights:
March 2016

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Andy-Winter-Blog_W160In the Budget, the Chancellor announced £115 million to tackle rough sleeping.

It transpired that the money had already been announced and recycled from another budget. Buried in documents published while the Chancellor was speaking were details of the expected savings from the cap on rents charged in social housing.

The savings for the three years beginning of April 2018 have increased by £475 million, from £515 million to £990 million.

Andy Winter has questioned in his blog how this increase was going to be achieved unless the Treasury got its figures wrong in the first place or there are further measures, yet to be announced, that will result in a further £475 million loss in housing benefit.

Andy has also responded on his blog to the announcement that £115 million is being made available to tackle rough sleeping.

Fundraising and Publicity


Last month we had eight people from Team BHT take part in the Brighton Half Marathon.

First to cross the line was Jack Pool in an impressive 1 hour 35 minutes.

David Bristowe, Deputy Manager of the Archway Project beat his target of two hours at just under 1 hour 58 minutes.

This was his first Half Marathon and he has raised over £400 so far for BHT’s First Base Day Centre, smashing his target by 162%!

Further donations are definitely welcome:

Please click here to donate through David’s Just Giving page

Jack Poole, Route One Floating Support Worker and his girlfriend Jane Ollier also raised money for BHT by taking part.

Jack hit his record breaking time of 1 hour 36 minutes and Jane ran in 1 hour 39 minutes.

Everyone at Route One is very proud of them both and grateful as they raised money for our Clients’ discretionary fund.

San Sehjal, Manager, BHT’s Route One project

Collectively they have raised over £2,500 for BHT services. A huge thank you to all who took part.

Congratulations and a big thank you to Eleanor Busby (Project Consultant Assistant at Fulfilling Lives) who completed the Hastings Half Marathon in 2 hours 35 minutes.

Eleanor has raised over £350 for BHT’s First Base Day Centre.

BHT’s Hastings Advice Centre were successful in a funding application bid to Hastings Borough Council.

The new funding comes from a pot of funding to tackle Rogue Landlords. They are really looking forward to working with Hastings Borough Council in tackling the unlawful practices of a minority of landlords in Hastings and educating both tenants and landlords on good landlord practices.

They will also be able to assist clients with small claim applications where landlords have not protected deposits. Digital advice in Hastings using Skype type technology will also be developed.

BHT’s Finding Futures project have raised 28% of their target of £500 for their Pier to Pier Coastal Walk.

Help the project smash their target by joining the Pier to Pier Coastal Walk on Saturday 28 May.

For more details you can email Sarah Blessington or call her on 01424 718984

Please click here to visit Finding Futures’ Just Giving Page to make a donation.

Events, meetings and workshops


Three clients from BHT’s Phase One project worked with renowned photographer Simon Roberts for three sessions producing a photobook.

In partnership with Susan Eskdale, Royal Pavilion and Museum’s Community Engagement Officer, clients had the opportunity to have a personal walkthrough Simon’s exhibition, Pierdom, at the Royal Pavilion Museum.

Above right: Simon Roberts with John Fitzgerald looking through his photobook of his own work.

A Health and Living event took place at the drop in at 144 London Road.

Taking part were the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership, Brighton and Hove Healthwalks, and Community Health Trainers from the City Council.

BHT-highlights-2016_03_st-patricks_W300It was St Patrick’s day last month.

BHT’s Human Resources team entered the spirit of the occasion!

BHT’s Threshold Women’s services held a stall at International Women’s Day at the Dome.

This generated a lot of interest from women and other services in Threshold’s range of services, including groups, drop-ins and counselling support.

The campaign, One You, aims to help adults include increased sleep, exercise and healthy eating in their lifestyles, as well as reducing smoking, drinking and stress.

Please click here to visit the site, which includes lots of great advice and offers on well-being including a lifestyle quiz

BHT-highlights-2016_03_no-smoking_W300National No Smoking Day was on 9 March.

An event was organised by Linda Bates and Sam Oliver at 144 London Road.

Throughout the day information and advice on how to stop smoking was available for all staff and clients.

Nutrition and Hydration Week was on 14 March.

A Healthy Living Workshop was organised for 15 March for both staff and clients at 144 London Road.

Health Trainers, Brighton and Hove Food Partnership and Brighton & Hove Health Walks provided useful information during the event.

A workshop took place at BHT’s First Base Day Centre to explore new trends in legal pro bono work.

The question was asked:

Is non-state pro bono advice, really the best way forward? Or does clinical legal education, for example, merely shift the responsibility to provide free legal advocacy away from the state?

The workshop was put together by members of the project BHT Pro Bono, a clinical law project developed between BHT’s Brighton Advice Centre and Sussex Law School’s students as a project of Sussex Clinical Legal Education.

Karen George from Mind delivered an hour long presentation about the relationship between food and mood to residents at BHT’s Archway project.

Feedback was positive, one resident stating that they will try to cook once a week rather than buy a ready meal.

BHT-highlights-2016_03_poetry_W300BHT Clients and staff took part in a poetry and arts meeting at North Street.

They shared and discussed pieces that either they had created or intrigued them.

It was fulfilling, supportive but most importantly quite fun, which explains why we keep seeing more people each time!

MO’D, BHT client

Staff and clients attended a presentation at 144 London Road focusing on financial & digital inclusion, welfare reform and fuel poverty.

The presentation was given by Emily Ballantyne (Moneyworks), Liz O’Kane (BHCC), Alex Brining (PRS Solutions) and Simon Whitwell (BHT Advice) and was very well received.

Simon Hughes, Operational Manager at BHT’s First Base Day Centre, gave a talk to the congregation of All Saints Church in Hove about the effects of austerity measures on services working with people who are street homeless.

As well as a retiring collection which raised over £200, several parishioners agreed to sign up to the First Base Small Change for Big Change regular giving campaign.

Simon also met with Karl Williams, the owner of 360 Home.

The meeting was to discuss ways in which this local Brighton-based building company can support clients who would like to work in the building trade.

If you have a client who may be interested then please contact Frank at BHT’s First Base Day Centre on 01273 326844 or:

Please click here to contact Frank via email

Interns, volunteers and Client Involvement

housing-services-newsletter-issue04pdf_W220BHT’s Housing Services’ quarterly newsletter was published.

This was the first edition produced with full tenant involvement, thanks to their new Editorial panel.

As well as being posted out to all Housing Services’ tenants, the publication is also available to download digitally.

Please click here or to the right to download a digital version of the latest BHT Housing Services’ newsletter (PDF, 2.2mb)

BHT-highlights-2016_03_ymca_W300Congratulations to BHT’s Move-On project’s Tony Ormiston who successfully completed his six month Internship at Brighton YMCA’s William Collier House.

Tony was enthusiastic and made a great contribution to our service.

We’re happy he will continue working as member of our bank staff cover team.

Nick Levett, Deputy Manager

BHT’s Archway project has two Social Work students, Gary Pickford and Rebecca Clarke, who are both doing well in their placements.

Another two placements began on 14 March supporting services at across the project.

Chelsea, the Therapy dog, was on site at Sackville Gardens with her owner, Peter Taylor, the Archway project’s volunteer.

Both are a huge hit with clients and staff.

BHT-highlights-2016_03_decorating_W300Paul from the Bell Group led a team of clients in preparing and repainting the entrance hall to BHT’s First Base Day Centre.

This was part of a combined corporate responsibility / Big Lottery Funded First Impressions and Heritage Lottery Funded Heritage project.

Projects and feedback

BHT’s Learning & Development Team received this outstanding feedback for their Emergency First Aid at Work course:

I have done many first aid courses when I worked for the NHS, including being a qualified first aider after a three Day course in the past, but this was by far the best.

The trainer was superb and it is impossible to identify one part that was better than another. All techniques shown are vital and important in preserving life and I feel more confident about being able to use these techniques, if I ever needed to, than at any point in the past.

Course participant

This is what one of Learning and Development’s attendees had to say about the Benefits & Vulnerable People course:

I just wanted to say that I thought the training session this morning was one of the best I have been to. I thought Jayne was hugely impressive – clear and easy to follow, informative and obviously in total command of her subject.

Course participant

Please click here to browse the new programme of courses on the BHT Training website

BHT’s Whitehawk Inn project‘s contract with the National Careers Service is due to be renewed for the next financial year.

In the project’s annual review meeting they were told that the Whitehawk Inn team are in the top third of National Careers Services delivering information, advice and guidance in the South Central area.

The team of Career Advisors provide person-centred, independent advice and they welcome referrals from across BHT.

In November 2015, BHT’s Route One project arranged for East Sussex Fire Service to attend a house meeting at one of our properties.

Last month Route One received a really positive email from the service:

We had a meeting with our Watch Managers last week and Chris, our manager from Red Watch at Hove, highlighted the visit we had done to one of your properties as one they felt had been particular valuable, reaching people who would clearly benefit from our advice, and would be keen to progress visits at further properties.

Melinda King, Inclusion and Partnership Coordinator

BHT-highlights-2016_03_pool-table_W300BHT’s Shore House project‘s new pool table arrived, and residents have been enjoying games of pool and snooker against each other and staff.

The pool table was bought as a result of a generous donation.

Next week social work students are planning a pool tournament in the house.

BHT-highlights-2016_03_caroljne-lucas_W300The Member of Parliament for Brighton Pavilion, Caroline Lucas, visited BHT’s First Base Day Centre.

The visit was to launch our appeal for sanitary products for homeless women.

If you would like to support the appeal:

Please click here to visit the First Base Amazon Wish List

Supporting our clients

whitehawk-inn-brochure_W220BHT’s Whitehawk Inn project has started enrolling for Summer term courses, starting after Easter.

They are likely to double the amount of enrolments completed compared to last term.

If you know a client who would be interested in any of the courses then please give them a call on 01273 682222 or:

Please click here or to the right to download a digital version of the Whitehawk Inn’s brochure (PDF, 5.2mb)

The Severe Weather Shelter was open for the last time over the winter period.

The shelter provided more than 100 bed spaces for people who are street homeless.

Thanks to all who volunteered at BHT’s First Base Day Centre and everyone else who has dropped everything, often at short notice, to staff the shelter.

Your commitment is really appreciated.

Please click here to email us if you are interested in working at the shelter in the future

Housing-Service-Tenancy-Handbook-2016_W220BHT’s Housing Services’ Tenancy Handbook was published.

This publication has been distributed to all Housing Services tenants including the 157 tenants of homes leased to Affinity Sutton which returned to BHT last month.

Please click here or to the right to download a digital version of Housing Services’ Tenancy Handbook, (PDF, 5.4mb)

BHT’s Threshold Women’s services will be at the Cornerstone Community Centre for Art and Chat drop in sessions from 1pm-3pm every Tuesday.

This is free and there is no need to book.

BHT’s Housing Services secured £350 from a Hastings Charity, Magdalen & Lasher for one of their new tenants, as well as £80 from Relief charity, Hastings.

BHT’s Mental Health and Wellbeing services ran their Peer Support Drop-in at 144 London Road.

The service also hosted its First Steps to Work and Learning Drop-in.

Value for money


Following the introduction of AllPay cards, the Eastbourne Housing office has had no cash payments for weekly rent for the first time.

Tenants have been using their cards at their local PayPoints, freeing staff up in the office.

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