St Martins is celebrating after being awarded £92,244 in government funding, distributed through The National Lottery Community Fund, to support its work with homeless people in Norfolk. The charity, based in Norwich, will use the cash to run more activities to support the health and wellbeing of homeless people whose support needs have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
St Martins has continued to support people in recent months in their hostels, residential care settings and in the community. While essential accommodation, support and food have been provided during lockdown, Covid 19 has had a negative impact on many of the people the charity supports, especially those who are not used to or comfortable with being stuck indoors to self-isolate.
St Martins will use the cash to deliver health and wellbeing activities including counselling sessions for people with the most complex trauma, plus yoga, mindfulness sessions, distraction packs, music, gardening and cooking projects.
The charity supports around 200 people at any one time and the wellbeing activities offered in this new project will accommodate the interests and potential levels of engagement based on St Martins recent consultation with the people they support. Local specialist services and tutors will be used to deliver the project which will be management by a Wellbeing Co-ordinator.
Dr Jan Sheldon CEO of St Martins said, “We’re delighted that DCMS and The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our work in this way. Now, thanks to this grant we will be able to offer homeless people activities and sessions that will have a positive impact on their mental health and wellbeing. These can be accessed on a one-to-one basis or in small groups so we can adhere to social distancing rules as well as ensuring that the activities are of most benefit to people.”
Lucy Bone, Head of Community Services said, “From our experience we know that wellbeing activities like yoga, mindfulness and arts and crafts can be a lifeline to some of the people we support. At St Martins we offer more than a home for the homeless; it is activities like these that help people build the confidence to move forward in their lives. We’re excited about the long term impact this funding will have.”