Thames Reach
Tuesday 21 November 2017
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Waterloo Project

Gavin and Emma

The Waterloo Project is a Thames Reach hostel in Lambeth which houses 19 former rough sleepers.

Tackling the damage caused by drink and drug abuse, rebuilding support networks with families, helping people acquire new life skills, all help the residents lead a more settled life.

The scheme is part of the Waterloo Project cluster and is staffed by that team who work across the three sites – the Waterloo Project, Brixton Step and Camberwell New Road.

The hostel had a £650,000 refurbishment in 2012 to bring the property up-to-date, opening up the ground floor and basement to make them less institutional.

The hostel has been a Psychologically Informed Environment (PIE) since 2012, and has two psychologists from the South London and Maudsley (SLaM) Mental Health Trust on site.

They provide professional psychological support in one-to-one and group sessions including art classes.

This project stems from work by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, recognising the high levels of emotional trauma that accompany, and in many cases precede, an individual becoming homeless.

It provides access to therapies that more complex elements of the homeless population currently miss out on due to the chaotic lifestyle associated with substance misuse or a failure to engage with health and homelessness support staff.

There are links to drug treatment programmes, and also mainstream mental health services such as psychiatry.

The project enables those facing multiple disadvantages to become more self-reliant and find work, a stable home, and participate more positively in their local community. In 2014, a series of volunteer roles for service users were created such as the project’s gardener and tour guide, to help boost residents’ self-confidence.

Find out more about PIE and the innovative work taking place at the Waterloo Project here.

For more information please email