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Redbridge homeless to have access to vital health advice & treatment, through lottery grant

03/03/2020

a homeless man, sitting on a pavement outside a shop

Homeless people in Redbridge will have ongoing access to vital health advice and treatment after work to improve their wellbeing won lottery funding.

The grant – secured by Healthy Living, Healthy Lives CIC (community interest company) from the Lottery Community Fund – will ensure homeless people in the borough continue to receive locally-based healthcare support for the next three years. 

Since 2006, Healthy Living, Healthy Lives CIC has been working with The Welcome Project in Ilford and numerous other organisations including NHS Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), to improve health outcomes in the homeless community.

Stephanie O’Leary, CEO and Homeless Health Service Manager for Healthy Living, Healthy Lives said: “People who experience homelessness have a life expectancy of just 42 years and are more likely than the general population to suffer from multiple health problems. 

“There are many reasons for homelessness and in order to help people move forward in life, they need support to address the issues which cause or affect their situation.  This holistic approach supports our clients and deals with the individuals’ needs, starting with a comprehensive health check at registration. 

“We are delighted that the Lottery Community Fund have agreed to support this work for a further three years.  Over the last five years, their financial support has meant that we have been able to employ general and mental health nurses, a counsellor, a massage therapist, a chiropodist and two sports coaches. 

“Additionally, we work in partnership with many other services and organisations to support improved health and wellbeing and prevent and monitor illness.” 

The service run by Healthy Living, Healthy Lives CIC is delivered from The Welcome Centre and provides a range of support for homeless people including:

  • healthcare and health promotion
  • support to register with and access a local GP
  • treatment for minor illnesses
  • help managing long term conditions such as diabetes
  • education, liaison and advocacy support with numerous other agencies
  • encouragement and support to use appropriate statutory services.

Dr Anil Mehta, a local GP and Chair of NHS Redbridge CCG, said:

We’re delighted that Healthy Living, Healthy Lives CIC – one of our strategic partners in tackling the health issues of the homeless – has been successful in securing further lottery funding which allows its excellent service to continue.

“Along with a number of local doctors and other healthcare staff, the CCG has recently started a homeless and rough sleeper outreach service, working in conjunction with Stephanie and her Nurse colleagues at the Welcome Centre in Ilford. We would like to congratulate Stephanie and her team on their success so far and look forward to continuing our joint work improving the health of homeless people in Redbridge.”

Phil Herbert, Executive Director of Healthy Living Projects Ltd who run The Welcome Centre said:

We are delighted that Healthy Living Healthy Lives has received the necessary funding to continue providing vital healthcare for our homeless clients. Health is a significant part of the service offer at The Welcome Centre and we are pleased that it will continue for at least the next 3 years.’

We want to thank the Lottery Community Fund for their financial support over the last 5 years and for the partnership with many other organisations in delivering this model of care, supporting those in need.

With this funding, this service is secure for the next 3 years, in a place where the client feels safe and there is a relationship of trust.  We hope that during this time, we will continue to develop closer links with NHS providers in supporting local people to move from homelessness to health.

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