An Integrated Support Service with emphasis on prevention, early intervention and integration for people who are at risk of losing their independence. The service provides tailored support to clients aged 16+ over a maximum of two years, to improve their opportunity to live successfully in the community. The ethos of the service is to enable, empower and encourage individuals to develop the skills and toolsto manage their accommodation, tenancies and health & wellbeing, through co-production and a joined up approach.
Our work with clients takes place at locations to meet individual needs; within our Victoria House resource centre, at their homes, in other agencies’ premises or in public meeting places.
We pride ourselves on providing accessible and flexible services to residents of Luton through partnership working and community engagement.
Service locations & office contact details:
Address: Victoria House, Victoria St, Luton LU1 2UA
Tel: 01582 343 230
Service hours: Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Support we provide enables our clients to:
- Source and secure accommodation – both privately and through housing associations or the council
- Sustain tenancies – including landlord liaison if there is risk of eviction, addressing poor quality accommodation, anti-social behaviour or neighbour disputes
- Manage and improve their health and wellbeing – including practical support with managing mental ill health or physical health needs, with referrals made to GP or specialist health services where required
- Address drug and alcohol needs
- Access benefits advice and guidance, budgeting, utilities and debt
- Engage with specialised support; Domestic violence, mental health, learning disability, physical health
- Access ETE
- Manage social and emotional needs
- Access relevant agencies through signposting and cross referrals
How to refer? (Referral Form attached)
- Self referrals
- Referrals from family members
- Referrals from health and social care professionals already working with the client
Additional services at Synergy:
- CV writing workshops
- IT and Computer workshops
- Numeracy & Literacy workshops
- Introduction to Computer Programming
Third Party Hate Crime Reporting Centre
Penrose Synergy service in Luton is now confirmed as a Third Party Hate Crime Reporting Centre, working in conjunction with Bedfordshire Police. Penrose staff completed their awareness training and a team of 6 staff are now trained in this specialist reporting, via the ‘True Vision‘ website.
Emmeline Irvine, Business and Enterprise Manager, said: “Penrose services in Luton support around 400 people at any one time, each presenting with varying support needs, relating to their personal circumstances and mental and physical wellbeing. The demographics of our service users mirrors the diverse demographics of Luton, making Penrose Synergy a prime location for a Third Party Hate Crime Reporting Centre. Our Synergy service is well know to the community and stakeholders, and the central location of the hub is accessible to anyone in Luton who needs support to report a hate crime.”
James Hart, the Hate Crime Tactical Lead at Bedfordshire Police, said: “Hate crime should not be tolerated. If you are a victim, we encourage you to report it.”
Anyone wishing to report a hate crime can do so by:
- visiting the Penrose Synergy office at Victoria House, Victoria St, Luton LU1 2UA (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm)
- calling the Penrose Synergy office on 01582 343 230 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm).
- reporting online via the True Vision website (please note: in cases where the offender is still present or may return, or anyone is seriously hurt or in danger, you should call 999).
To find out more information about this nationwide initiative, please visit the True Vision website.
Gary: “Penrose saved my life”
“Before coming to Penrose Synergy, I tried to take my own life. Although I’m well educated with a degree in computer science, I couldn’t get employment in the IT sector, because I had a gap in my CV due to being a full time carer for my father. The jobs I could get were minimum wage, zero hours contracts. I have a condition called hyper-flexibility, which is a physical disability – but I wasn’t recognised as disabled enough. I was doing things like lorry loading and unloading, which was hurting my joints. I still couldn’t pay the bills with the money I was earning.
“I asked myself, ‘what’s the point?’ My GP prescribed me Citalopram, which has a side effect of increasing suicidal ideation. Almost immediately, the effect was that it completely clarified my perceptions and I wanted to take my life.
“I survived my first attempt to take my life. I stopped taking the medication and I stopped eating and drinking. I mentioned to a neighbour that I had tried to take my own life. They suggested I speak to my GP. I was assessed in a secure psychiatric unit for 5 days. I decided in there I really didn’t want to be incarcerated. I didn’t like it. So I did everything I was supposed to do.
“At this point, I was referred to Penrose by the Citizen’s Advice Bureau. I came here with the full expectation of being let down, as I had been many times before.
“The thing about Penrose is they’re not geared to one aspect or problem – they see you as a person here. I could talk about what had happened, including trying to take my own life. My support worker here, Kerryann, was completely non-judgemental and she was 100% reliable. She never cancelled or changed an appointment (like I did). This started writing an unspoken contract between us, which after a while, I really wanted to live up to. She was the most fantastic advocate for me with other services, which I had found very hard to access.
“Kerryann helped me to open my bills. She advocated for me with creditors. There were so many small improvements along the way, which made life that little bit better each time.
“I also got huge help from Kerryann when I was at risk of homelessness. She was very persistent with housing contacts, trying to move things forward between the Housing department in Central Beds and another housing agency. She kept on their case and all the activity that did occur was through her prompting. I was offered housing in Luton, through one of private landlords locally, who is known to Penrose. I didn’t have any funds for a deposit. Kerryann helped enormously to access funds for this from Central Beds.
“So now, when I ask myself “what’s the point?”, the answer is “how can I contribute to Penrose as a volunteer?” This is because Penrose saved my life. Due to my background in computer science and software engineering, I’ve been working with Abe to develop a computer department at Penrose Synergy. We’ve been running a computer course, which we sit down with people 1-2-1 – anything they want to do, from basic emailing, to using Office software, beginner through to advanced level. Abe and I are also developing a one day course for people who use Penrose services, who are interested in pursuing computer science as a profession.
“I’m involved with the Penrose Roots project, because of the potential use of alternative technologies in that project, such as aquaponics (a water filtering system, which provides a medium for growing plants).
“I’m also in the process of getting a Debt Relief Order from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau. I now receiving ESA support, due to the full recognition of my mental and physical needs.”
Lenford: “Daniel has been a great help in my quest to find a suitable home”
“I referred myself to Penrose Synergy in May 2015. I was in rent arrears, facing eviction and homelessness. I was interviewed by Christie and introduced to Daniel who conducted my risk assessment.
“Daniel committed himself to resolving my rent arrears, by talking to my landlord to come to an agreement. I was paying £80 per month out of my benefits, to cover rent arrears. Daniel accompanied me to all interviews with Luton Borough Council, helping me fill in forms and access information regarding this issue (including a Discretionary Housing Payment claim).
“My landlord refused to comply with requests from Daniel and Luton Borough Council. In August 2015, my landlord served me with 28 days’ notice to leave. Daniel spoke to my landlord and managed to stop the eviction. However, Daniel had concerns about how much I
was paying out of my benefit (£80 per month) and the reluctance of my landlord to provide statements showing how much I owed. We brought this to the attention of Luton Borough Council, who also sent a request for the information from my landlord. He supplied no evidence.
“In September 2015, I came home to find an eviction notice underneath my door, giving me two weeks to leave. Daniel tried talking to my landlord again. My landlord told Daniel that his children were moving back home and he needed the room. We went to Luton Borough Council and they tried to resolve the matter, but my landlord refused again.
“Daniel accompanied me to Luton Borough Council, to seek emergency accommodation. We met a Housing Officer, Mr Ahmed, who found me a place. Unfortunately this was not appropriate, due to my health issues. Daniel helped me fill out various forms, regarding homelessness and my health concerns (PIP, ESA and DHP). We continued to have contact with Mr Ahmed over the phone and in person. Daniel helped me with my homeless application. I had to wait to see whether they had a duty of care to myself.
“In October 2015, I moved into temporary accommodation at the Stuart Hotel, co-ordinated by Luton Borough Council. Whilst staying in the hotel my application had to be assessed. Mr Ahmed then told me that Luton Borough Council had a duty of care towards me. In December 2015, I moved into a flat, which is owned by Aldwyck Housing Group. Daniel came to the viewing prior to me moving in.
“Daniel has been a great help in my quest to find a suitable home. He is a trusted and dedicated member of the Penrose Synergy Team and is passionate about his vocation.
I am still under his professional care and I have recommended people with similar or other issues that Penrose Synergy can help with. I am grateful for the unfailing support.”