Refurbishment completed at Robertson Street hostel
Thames Reach celebrates completion of £1.9 million hostel upgrade
Thames Reach yesterday celebrated the completion of a £1.9 million refurbishment of its Robertson Street hostel in the London Borough of Lambeth.
Over 40 people attended an event to celebrate the refurbishment, which was funded under the Homelessness Change programme by the Greater London Authority (GLA) and Department of Health. Additional funds were provided by a charitable trust.
There were attendees from a number of governmental and partner organisations, including the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Lambeth Council, Lambeth NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, the GLA, and the charitable trust responsible for part-funding the project.
The refurbishment means that hostel residents now have a greatly improved living space, with all rooms enlarged, completely refitted and possessing en-suite bathrooms with showers.
Many rooms have also been fitted with facilities to help staff members and carers provide additional support to those residents with care packages, making sure that all those living at the hostel have their needs met in the most comprehensive way possible.
The rest of the building now features a fitness suite, self-catering facilities, improved accessibility and areas to encourage more independent living and to meet the needs of those with higher levels of dependency.
Initially opened in the early 1990s, and ground-breaking at the time, Robertson Street has 42 rooms for people over the age of 40 with a history of sleeping rough. The hostel is part of Lambeth Council’s vulnerable adults’ pathway and supports residents with health problems and issues such as substance abuse, aiming to help them live more independently.
Many residents will move on to other forms of accommodation, but for some older individuals, Robertson Street hostel will be where they live out the rest of their life. The refurbishment means that they will be able to do so in a far more comfortable environment.
Hostel resident George said of the refurbishment: “I’m very comfortable here. The new facilities are very good. The rooms are safe, private, and very spacious, which helps me because I’ve got a bad leg. I’ve got my own en-suite too, so I don’t have to walk very far to wash.”
Thames Reach support worker Julie Brown, who works at Robertson Street, said: “The difference is staggering; it’s much roomier, with far greater accessibility, and that helps us to better work with the residents and meet their needs.”
Jim Dickson, Lambeth Council cabinet member for the voluntary sector, partnerships and community safety, said: “The new Robertson Street looks amazing. The facilities are absolutely what’s needed to help residents live the best lives that they can.”
Jeremy Swain, Thames Reach Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted with the refurbishment and we know from talking to the people who matter most – our hostel residents- that this investment has improved their quality of life significantly. Our great partnership with the funders, the London Borough of Lambeth, and the owners of the building, PA Housing, has been key to shaping a project that we can all be proud of.