Thames Reach
Monday 20 November 2017
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Robertson Street

Robertson Street resident Albert English with Thames Reach Chief Executive Jeremy Swain at Thames Reach's service user conference

The Robertson Street project near Clapham houses 42 former rough sleepers over the age of 40, and aims to help them over a two-year period by tackling substance misuse issues, and improving their physical and mental health. The aim is to encourage them to prepare for independent living.

In addition to substance misuse issues, clients at Robertson Street generally have serious physical and/or mental health problems.

The hostel works closely with partner agencies, including the Intermediate Care Project. Headed up by the Three Boroughs Nursing Team, it provides health care input supporting the varied and sometimes complex health needs of residents.

A significant number of residents have cognitive problems, and some have dementia, often related to alcohol misuse. A high level of support and ongoing reassurance for these clients is crucial.

Robertson Street's Stop to Change programme supports residents to reduce their alcohol consumption, including a focus on switching from super-strength alcohol to drinks with an alcohol content of less than 6.5%. Staff provide a range of additional support to clients, including one-to-one support, help to engage with healthcare including GPs, advocacy, preparation for resettlement and activities to support clients to use their time constructively.

It also works closely with Foundation 66 and this has resulted in extra support being available for clients to address their alcohol issues.

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