Hearing from Stephen, Service Manager at Beeches Supported Housing

This week at Richmond Fellowship we are shining a light on our Supported Housing services. Supported housing is where we started over 60 years ago. We now have a wide range of mental health services but continue to pioneer and develop our supported housing services. Our supported housing provides people with a real home as well as access to support from Richmond Fellowship’s team of highly trained recovery worker.

Today we are hearing from Stephen, Service Manager at Beeches Supported Housing in Liverpool. ‘The Beeches’ has been supporting people with mental ill health for over 30 years. So, what’s it like in one of Richmond Fellowship’s longest running Supported Housing services? We spoke with Stephen to find out!

Why do you enjoy working at ‘The Beeches’ Supported Housing?

I enjoy working in a supported housing because I feel that the positive relationships that can be built between staff and residents can form a very solid foundation for recovery. I believe working within supported housing enables a closer, personal relationship with residents, identifying daily routines, personal preferences, personal and group needs. It is a real joy to support a person and see their recovery journey progress in a positive way.

What does a day to day look like in a Supported Housing?

A day in a supported housing would usually consist of supporting residents with taking their prescribed medication and accurately recording daily events within resident’s case notes, checking on resident’s welfare. Liaising with GP’s and Community Mental Health Teams, liaising with referral agencies, speaking with family and friends of residents, accompanying residents to go shopping or to medical appointments. We also support residents to prepare meals, do laundry, clean rooms, and other general life skills. Our recovery workers also accompany residents to supported day service activities or simply take residents on a cultural walk or a visit to the seaside or any other activity that promotes health and wellbeing.

How does a Supported Housing positively impact someone on their recovery journey?

Supported housing positively impacts a person’s recovery journey because of our staff. The opportunity to develop a positive working relationship with residents, underpinned with professionalism, respect and a desire on the part of the staff member to go the extra mile and make a real difference to the person we support’s recovery.

What has the Beeches been up to recently?

Our service ‘The Beeches’ recently took residents on a day out to Llandudno in North Wales which residents enjoyed immensely, rounded off with some pub grub! Our residents have also supported the RSPCA in the ‘Big Garden Birdwatch’ documenting all the different bird species that visit our beautiful garden and reporting the finding to the RSPCA, further to this, residents have sourced recyclable materials and constructed ‘Bird boxes’ for our garden. Hopefully in the future we shall see some nesting birds take up residence!

How did your service delivery change during the pandemic and what did you learn from it?

Our service delivery changed during the pandemic as we had to be more inventive. We had to look for activities which residents and staff could do which kept people safe and met with Covid-19 restrictions. This limited our opportunities to engage with external support programmes but enhanced the opportunity to develop internal activities. We started movie nights, communal meals, the development of a monthly magazine ‘The Beeches Bugle’ which focussed on health and wellbeing, word search, trivia, poems and stories from residents.

I suppose that the learning we took from delivering support during the pandemic is that it is possible to be more inventive with ideas to promote recovery in different ways, and not to take for granted the many options available to work in partnership to support our residents.

What would you say to someone thinking about working in a Supported Housing?

Do It!! It is very rewarding to work in a supported housing service. It gives you the opportunity to work in a person-centred way, supporting residents with their daily tasks, whether that’s taking medication, attending appointments, going shopping or learning new life skills.

You can find out more about working for us at Richmond Fellowship here.

 

A huge thank you to Stephen for this insight into Beeches Supported Housing and the great work going on in supporting people’s recovery journeys. To stay up to date on our Supported Housing week, follow Richmond Fellowship on Twitter and like our Facebook page, or check out #OurSupportedHousing. We have over 50 supported housing services across England, and we can’t wait to share more with you about our work!

Big White Wall: New name, continued support

We are excited to announce that our partners at Big White Wall are re-naming.

The service, which is available for free to all of our staff, people we support and volunteers provides a safe online community to support your mental health, 24/7.

Big White Wall has undergone significant transformation in past few years, and they feel that it is the right time to move the brand forward. Through research and open conversation, they have chosen a name that truly represents the company and their values of inclusivity, positivity and belonging, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or religion.

What’s next?

At the beginning of August the new name will be announced, and you will start seeing communications from the service that look different, including an updated URL and logo. Up until the beginning of August the service will continue to operate as Big White Wall.

The service name is changing, but the commitment to providing safe and accessible mental health support remains consistent.

If you aren’t yet a member, and you feel like you need a place to talk visit www.bigwhitewall.com today to find out more.

Developing our Tameside Supported Housing service

1 in 4 people in the UK experience mental health issues each year, and incredible work is being done across the country to tackle mental health stigma. Richmond Fellowship supports tens of thousands of people across the country every year, providing tailored support to tie in with each person’s needs, interests and aspirations – and we are proud that 97% of people who use our services feel that Richmond Fellowship has improved their quality of life, and 93% feel safe and secure in our services.  

Supported housing is one of the key models of support we offer. As well as offering a safe, welcoming place for people to live, the support provided helps people along their path of recovery to independent living. We are proud to have run supported housing services in Tameside for many years, and have never had any problems with the local community in that time. We are committed to continually improving the quality of the properties we provide. Our new property would replace ageing accommodation, and will be a modern, self-contained flat complex with support staff on-site 24/7 in order to provide the best recovery environment for the people we support. 

We will be talking to local people in order to hear any concerns and promote understanding of our work and services.

BBQ to thank community for mental health support

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National mental health charity Richmond Fellowship is inviting the local community in Surrey to its annual BBQ to thank them for their support at a local supported housing service.

Croft House, run by national mental health charity Richmond Fellowship, supports people living with mental health problems gain the skills and confidence to move onto independent living. Read more

Mayor to attend culture and diversity mental health event

Blue SparkyRichmond Fellowship will play host to the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea as part of an event to promote cultural diversity and tackle mental health stigma.

Councillor Robert Freeman will be in attendance at the event that will showcase a range of dancers, poetry, and cuisine from around the world.

The event will also aim to tackle mental health stigma in the community, an area of focus for Richmond Fellowship. Read more

Building work starts on our new Southend supported living scheme

The diggers have moved on site to start building work on our new supported living scheme in Southend-on-Sea, Essex.

The £4.8m development, supported by investment from the Homes and Communities Agency, will include 33 self-contained flats more specialised facilities, as well as one wheelchair standard apartment, communal areas for residents, office space and staff accommodation.

The scheme on Sutton Road is being developed by our partners Sanctuary Group to replace Chalkwell Lodge, our existing supported living scheme in Westcliff-on-Sea.

At a special event to formally mark the start of construction, local ward councillor Margaret Borton dug the first spade into the ground. She was joined by Chalkwell Lodge resident Paul Mills and representatives from Richmond Fellowship, Sanctuary Group, and builders UK Construction Ltd.

Richmond Fellowship locality manager Lesley Brady said: “We’re really excited about this new development as it means our residents will be able to live in self-contained flats rather than the more communal accommodation we’re currently using. This will make it much easier for us to support them to develop the independent living skills they need to be able to move on to their own homes.”

Councillor Lesley Salter, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s executive councillor for adult social care, health and housing, said: “This is a very exciting development to give vulnerable residents the vital opportunity to live independently in a safe and supportive environment.”

The Sutton Road scheme is due for completion in Spring 2015.