Background ‘The House’ is a 5-bed residential unit for vulnerable women. Its aim is to successfully rehabilitate & reintegrate the women back into the community and independent living. The service aims to benefit clients with the ability to manage future tenancies and to enable vulnerable women in maintaining their safety & making better life choices. This will in turn benefit communities by removing Service Users from unhealthy situations and empowering them to be more integrated in their local area.Achievements The project opened in July 2014 and over the past twelve months there have been many achievements and milestones reached for the women. These include:
- Consistent access and engagement in drug and alcohol services
- Greater awareness, access and engagement (including self-management) in physical and mental health services
- Ownership of lifestyle and impact this has on family, community and relationships
- Substantial increase in reporting crimes to the Police
- Developing a sense of community and wanting to access training, education & volunteering
- Engaging with support sessions, life skills and tenancy sustainment
- Tackling complex issues around personal safety including addressing the dangers in their lifestyles and being valued as a person; what is acceptable treatment and controlling relationships
The project is fully committed to Service User Involvement and is an environment of continual consultation. All Service Users are invited to bring forth better working practices and develop ideas of how the project should evolve so that it fully meets their needs. Staff show a flexibility in their approach to supporting & empowering vulnerable women that is innovative within a residential setting. Feedback from external providers, service users & staff show that alongside the above achievements there have been reductions in vulnerability, substance use and reoffending. When asked to sum up the project in a sentence the residents stated the following: “The House gives us safety, stability and peace so that we can be healthy, independent and have a better life” The future… As the project is still in its infancy there is room for continuous development. We aim to build on service innovation and future plans include –
- Therapeutic garden – Penrose Roots have taken residents ideas and are researching the possibility of landscaping the garden into something that will be a supportive and soothing environment for its residents.
- Staff development, training and specialisms
- Second Stage Accommodation – Residents have been considering the need for a second stage project – This would enable a step forward to independence but still provide a level of basic support.