Deptford Reach re-opens with new schedule and services
Deptford Reach re-opens this week with an adapted schedule, with activities and takeaway food once again available to those experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, many of Thames Reach’s services have had to change the way they work to ensure the safety of communities, the people we work with and staff alike. For Deptford Reach, based in the heart of the community in south London, this meant a reduced face-to-face services while ensuring no one was left behind in these difficult times. Its day centre functionality was postponed, as the conventional use of the space with many people sharing a confined space was not suitable in pandemic times. Staff worked with those most at need, but as of this week (W/C Monday 12 April) the building is opening up again, with selected services running, including:
A rough sleeping support hub, which will take place in the mornings, providing advice, breakfast, showers, clothing and laundry facilities to anyone experiencing street homelessness. This will run Monday to Friday.
Prevention and sustainment service will run alongside this, on an appointment basis. This will provide support to anyone at risk of homelessness, and people needing support sustaining their accommodation.
From 17th May onwards, activities will take place on site in two-hour slots during the day. These will take the same format as the day centre as it existed prior to lockdown, with sessions including digital skills, women’s services and art.
Alongside this our kitchen will open again with takeaway food available in line with government guidelines, meaning that food will have to be taken outside of the building, at least for the time being.
A dentist, GP and nurse will be on site on set days of the week. At Thames Reach our aim is to ensure that everyone we work with is registered with their own GP, and can access the health services they need. However these services are not always as accessible as they should be to people who are homeless and in housing need, and by using Deptford Reach as a point of access, this can make a real difference for some of the people who use our service.
Another new element of the Deptford Reach team’s work will be “outreach” sessions. This differs from the ‘traditional’ street outreach work with people sleeping rough, but allows the team to seek out people in housing need and intervene to prevent homelessness. It will involve support workers being present at food banks across the borough of Lewisham to provide the same prevention and sustainment service outlined above.
Deptford Reach are looking for volunteers to help deliver their new services, particularly support for the rough sleeping hub and volunteers with specialised skills, to run activities for the Deptford Reach community, such as art, meditation, yoga. To discuss this further, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Volunteer page to apply.