Six services you didn’t know we offer (Part 1)

Onward supported housing

August is our ‘service’ month and we’re shining a light on six services we offer to help make our customers’ lives easier – starting with three ways of getting support on your doorstep.

Housing is about so much more than a roof over your head – it’s about building a home where you feel safe and happy. For me, this mostly means a constant supply of biscuits.

However, for some, it could involve anything from a hand rail in their bathroom so they can live in their home for longer, to moving somewhere that offers round-the-clock support or even somewhere to stay while they figure out their housing situation. If any of these situations are ringing a bell, then this blog is for you my friends.supported services

For others, it might be taking the next step and proactively getting information on healthy eating, accepting help with hoarding issues or learning tech skills so they can apply for jobs, all of which we’ll cover in Part 2 next week.

So, get stuck in with a slice of our services and support – you might be surprised about what we can help you with.

Aids and adaptations

Some of our customers have been in their homes for decades, so being uprooted is often the last thing they want. Because of this, we want to help people stay in their own home for as long as possible with independence, privacy and dignity.

That’s why we offer aids and adaptations – from a grab rail to level access showers and entry ramps – to help customers live independently and comfortably in their homes for as long as possible, with minimum intrusion or intervention.

There are two types of adaptations:

  • Minor adaptations which include grab rails, key safes or lever taps on sinks and baths. Onward will usually fund minor adaptations up to a cost of £1,000.
  • Major adaptations include changes to your property such as stair lifts, level access showers and entry ramps that make it easier for you to move around your home and remain independent.

If you think this is something you could benefit from, you might need to apply to your local authority for DFG funding to carry out major adaptations and we’ll usually make a contribution towards the cost of works.

Independent living

If aids and adaptations aren’t quite cutting the mustard, then our independent living schemes are set up to offer extra support for some of our most vulnerable tenants.

We’ve got 1,872 supported accommodation properties in total, which range from shared houses to self-contained flats. They’re all linked to our tailored support packages to help our customers progress towards greater independence and improved wellbeing. We also manage 26 registered care homes.

This is what some of our independent living customers had to say:

 “This is just a card to tell you ‘I think you’re a gem’. Thanks for not allowing my past to precede me. And thank you for getting me No.54. You don’t know what it means to me.”

“Thanks for helping me. I’m not used to it so it means a lot”

Clearly our independent living team are equally happy about being able to support them:

‘’I love the challenge of helping the most vulnerable and fighting to get them what they deserve.’’

‘’We always help each other. In a crisis you can ring someone and know they will be there any time of the night or day even when on leave.’’

 “We smile when referred to as the pink and fluffy service and recognise that sometimes even our colleagues think the role is about having a cup of tea and a biscuit, but it’s far from it.”

Homelessness support

We also offer help to people who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless.

Alt Bank House, our state-of-the-art homeless hostel in Knowsley, provides safe, secure and temporary accommodation for single men and women through self-contained flats.

The team there supports tenants with a whole range of issues including drug, alcohol, mental health issues, offending behaviour and debt management. They then help them to prepare for, and move into, permanent accommodation.

The hostel has worked with over 450 people in the last four years and also offers a ‘Sit Up’ service, which helps rough sleepers. This service means less people sleeping on the streets, and has had 100 users in the last year.

One of these people is Craig, who shared his powerful story with us:

“I found the Sit Up very helpful as I was walking around all night and sleeping in bus stops and train stations.

“Due to my situation I ended up smoking spice but when I came in the Sit Up staff sat me down and talked to me. The other residents have helped me and the staff have been very helpful.

“I would be completely lost without the staff here. It has helped turn me around.”

Tune in next week for Part 2 of our services and support blog and, as always, let us know if you have any questions relating to anything that’s been covered here.

Get in touch to find out about ways we can help support you

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