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St Martins wins national award for excellence in supporting people

We won an award in the national Homeless Link Excellence Awards in the category ‘excellence in supporting people’. The recognition is specifically for Highwater House, a residential service based in the city centre which supports people with a diagnosed mental health condition and a drug or alcohol addiction. All the residents in the service have been homeless or at risk of homelessness at some point in their lives and require ongoing intensive support.

The news follows a recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) rating of ‘Outstanding’ for the service for being well-led and caring.

Chief Executive Dr Jan Sheldon said, “All our team members at Highwater House are dedicated to providing the best support possible to some of the most highly traumatised people in our community. We are pleased to have won this prestigious award as it puts St Martins and Norfolk firmly on the map for fantastic homelessness provision at a national level.”

The awards are run by Homeless Link, the national membership charity for organisations working directly with people who become homeless in England. The annual award scheme celebrates the best of the homelessness and supported housing sectors by recognising innovative, impactful work that is occurring across the country.

Highwater House is leading the way by becoming an early adopter of a Psychologically Informed Environment (PIE) approach. Manager of Highwater House Angela Herbert said, “Everything we do takes into account the thoughts and feelings of our residents and how past traumatic experiences may influence their behaviour. We work hard on building  genuine relationships with our residents based on respect and tolerance.  It’s their home and they feel safe here.”

Team members from Highwater House travelled to Birmingham for the annual Homeless Link conference during the day and stayed for the evening awards ceremony.  There may only have been five of them at the ceremony but they made enough noise for us all when the winner was announced! 

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