Thames Reach sign UNISON End Violence at Work Charter

Thames Reach have signed UNISON’s landmark End Violence at Work Charter.

Thames Reach sign UNISON End Violence at Work Charter

Thames Reach are pleased to announce that we have signed UNISON’s End Violence at Work Charter. Thames Reach are working on UNISON’s ten-point plan in order to ensure safer working conditions for staff across all our services.

On Wednesday 23 February, UNISON reps Ezequiel Kramer and John Bond visited Thames Reach’s Employment Academy to sign the document with our Chief Executive Bill Tidnam, and were joined by Director of People, Joanna Mark-Richards, and Director of Central Services and Finance, Paul Jackson, to express support for the charter across Thames Reach as an organisation.

To qualify for the UNISON End Violence at Work Charter mark, employers must meet the following standards:
1. The employer has a written violence and aggression at work policy, including lone working, which is available to all staff.
2. Responsibility for implementing these policies lies with a senior manager.
3. Measures are taken to reduce staff working in isolated buildings, offices or other work areas to a minimum.
4. Staff are encouraged to report all violent incidents and they are told how to do this.
5. The employer collects and monitors data on violent incidents on a regular and ongoing basis.
6. Where they are in place, union safety reps are able to access this data and are consulted on solutions to issues relating to violence in the workplace.
7. Thorough risk assessments are conducted for staff placed in vulnerable situations.
8. The employer has support pathways in place for staff who are victims of violence at work, so that they know where to turn for advice and support.
9. Training to ensure staff are aware of the appropriate way to deal with threatening situations.
10. Where appropriate, independent counselling services are available to staff who are the victims of violence at work.

Thames Reach Chief Executive, Bill Tidnam, says: “Our response to violence whether physical or through abuse targeted at an individual, or group, requires a more sensitive approach than simple exclusion from a service. In many cases we are the only service working with an individual who has had a long history of service exclusion. That is why we wanted to work with UNISON to sign up to the End Violence at Work Charter.  This wasn’t simply a matter of signing on the dotted line; getting to this point has meant looking at how we manage and mitigate risk, how we respond to violence as an organisation, how we record and review incidents, how we train and support staff, as well as how we work in partnership. We look forward to continuing this important work.”

More on UNISON’s End Violence at Work Charter can be found on their website.

New figures show 19% reduction in rough sleeping

New CHAIN figures released today show a reduction in new people coming onto the streets

New figures show 19% reduction in rough sleeping

We welcome the publication of the Quarter 3 2021/2 CHAIN (Combined Homelessness and Information Network) figures by the Greater London Authority today.   The figures cover the months September to December 2021, and show a slow but welcome reduction in the overall numbers of people sleeping rough across London in the quarter, 11% down on the same period last year.

However, within this headline figure we see a worrying rise in the number of people experiencing rough sleeping in the long-term (19% increase on last year, and 16% higher than the previous quarter), defined in the report as ‘People Living on the Streets’.  The factors behind this rise are complex, but include the lack of options for people with unclear immigration status, difficulties in accessing suitable health and drug and alcohol services, as well as a shortage of supported accommodation spaces for people with complex needs.

This increase in people who are sleeping rough long-term further highlights the importance of targeted prevention and early intervention aimed at those at risk of street homelessness.  In the work we do, there is clear evidence that support at an early stage helps prevent the devastating experience and impact of rough sleeping on an individual’s health and future well-being. Providing support at this level as well as helping an individual to find and stay in suitable accommodation is how we will keep working to reduce the numbers we see in today’s report.

The report is available to read online here.

Lambeth Together starts 2022 with a pledge to improve health and wellbeing for all

Leaders of Lambeth’s health organisations have made a pledge which describes the work of the Lambeth Together Care Partnership to improve health and care and reduce health inequalities in the borough

Lambeth Together starts 2022 with a pledge to improve health and wellbeing for all

Leaders of Lambeth’s NHS, council and voluntary and community organisations have recorded a video of their pledge which describes how they will work as the Lambeth Together Care Partnership to improve health and care and reduce health inequalities in the borough. This comes at a time when partners are preparing for new formalised arrangements in line with the Government’s Health and Care Bill to build better joined up systems around health and care. Watch their pledge here.

From 1 January 2022, the Lambeth Together Care Partnership began to operate in shadow form, in anticipation of the legislation placing integrated care systems on a statutory footing in the summer of 2022. The new arrangements will improve the borough’s shared planning and delivery of services, as one of six place-based partnerships of south east London’s developing integrated care system. The Lambeth Together Care Partnership will have responsibility for delivering a new Lambeth Together Health & Wellbeing Strategy and the borough’s Health & Care Plan.

Councillor Jim Dickson, Lambeth’s Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, and Dr Di Aitken, Clinical Lead for the Lambeth Neighbourhood & Wellbeing Delivery Alliance, will jointly chair the Lambeth Together Care Partnership Board, reflecting shared leadership across the NHS and the local authority. Andrew Eyres, Strategic Director for Integrated Health and Care across the NHS and Lambeth Council, will be the executive lead for Lambeth Together. Other members of the board include representatives from Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and the Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts, Lambeth general practice, Healthwatch and the local community including the voluntary sector.

Dr Di Aitken said: “I’m delighted to see us take this important step forward in integrated care, and I look forward to hearing from local people about what matters most to them as we develop our local Health and Care Plan.”

“We want to make our Pledge known to the community as this underpins all the work we do. It represents our shared values, behaviours and, in particular, the ways we will come together to tackle health inequalities in Lambeth.”

Councillor Jim Dickson said: “We need to continue listening and learning as we’ve done throughout the coronavirus pandemic so that we emerge stronger, more connected and less unequal as a community. We welcome these developments in the Health & Care Bill. And we will continue to work more closely with NHS colleagues and our communities to take forward our shared ambitions to improve health and shape what we do around local need as well as our best evidence of what works”.

Integrated care systems (ICSs) bring together NHS providers and commissioners with local authorities and other partners to collectively plan health and care services to meet the needs of their populations. By integrating care across different organisations and settings, joining up hospital and community-based services, physical and mental health, and health and social care, integrated care systems aim to improve population health and reduce inequalities, support sustainability of services; and help the NHS to support social and economic development. All parts of England are now covered by one of 42 ICSs.

With relationships and arrangements for working together developed since 2018 through the Lambeth Together Strategic Board, Lambeth health and care partners are well placed to assume delegated responsibility for planning and managing the majority of services to support health at borough level. Find out more about Lambeth Together and its leadership.

The Lambeth Together Care Partnership holds its board meetings in public every two months, with the opportunity to ask question in a public forum at the start of every meeting. If you have an interest in health and wellbeing in Lambeth, you’re welcome to come along and share your views. Find out about the next public forum here.

Lambeth Living Well Alliance shortlisted for HSJ Partnership Award

The Lambeth Living Well Network Alliance has been nominated for the ‘Best Mental Health Partnership in the NHS’ category at the HSJ Partnership Awards

Lambeth Living Well Alliance shortlisted for HSJ Partnership Award

The Lambeth Living Well Network Alliance are pleased to have been shortlisted for ‘Best Mental Health Partnership Award with the NHS’ award in the HSJ Partnership Awards.

The Alliance is part of the Lambeth Together Partnership and brings together member organisations: South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), Lambeth Council, Certitude, NHS South East London Clinical Commissioning Group (SEL CCG) and Thames Reach, to deliver a transformation in the way people in Lambeth recover from mental ill health and to help them stay well. Its objective is to offer users of its services a wider breadth of options to do so.

Judges are selected from across the NHS and wider healthcare sector. Judges contribute valuable time and effort to work through hundreds of entries, reviewing against strict criteria and attributing scores against a transparent system aimed at rewarding and recognising the best of UK Healthcare.

Bill Tidnam, Chief Executive of Thames Reach, said: “Being shortlisted for the partnership awards is a great recognition of the Alliance staff. Working as an Alliance gives us the opportunity to draw the best from all the partner organisations whether the NHS, the council or the voluntary sector.”

Sabrina Phillips, Director of the Lambeth Living Well Network Alliance, said: “I am extremely proud that we have been shortlisted as one of the finalists for the HSJ Partnership Awards in the category of Best Mental Health Partnership with the NHS. This a positive reflection of the hard work and dedication of our staff, and recognises the collaborative efforts of our  Alliance Partners to successfully implement The Lambeth Living Well Network Alliance. We are committed to delivering improved access, experience and outcomes for our patients, and to be chosen among the other incredible nominees is a wonderful achievement.  This nomination has been a tremendous boost to staff in the Alliance, and I am sure it will bolster our continued efforts to improve our services for the people of Lambeth.”

The winners will be announced on 24 March 2022, at a ceremony in London.

Lambeth Living Well Alliance appoints new director

Lambeth Living Well Network Alliance is pleased to announce the appointment of its new director

The Lambeth Living Well Network Alliance is pleased to announce the appointment of its new director, Sabrina Phillips. Following a competitive recruitment process including external candidates, Sabrina has been selected by the panel after holding the post of interim director for eighteen months. Prior to that, she had worked at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) for seventeen years.

The Alliance is a delivery of the Lambeth Together Partnership and brings together member organisations: South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), Lambeth Council, Certitude, NHS South East London Clinical Commissioning Group (SEL CCG) and Thames Reach, to deliver a transformation in the way people in Lambeth recover from mental ill health and to help them stay well. Its objective is to offer users of its services a wider breadth of options to do so. By working in collaboration, the vision of the Alliance, now with Sabrina at its helm, will work towards being more joined up; quicker and easier to access and focus more on prevention, avoiding crises and unnecessary admissions to hospital.

Sabrina Phillips said: “I am delighted to take up the role as Substantive Alliance Director. Having acted in the role for the past 18 months, I have seen first-hand the resilience of the service users we care for and the people that care for them at an unprecedented time. The passion and drive of Alliance staff to improve the quality of care we deliver to the communities of Lambeth is truly inspiring, but there is more to do. I am committed to working collaboratively with service users, carers, staff and other partners to deliver on our vision to transform mental health care for the people of Lambeth and to deliver the outcomes that matter to them that we committed to as an Alliance.”

James Lowell, chief operating officer at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I know that many people will be delighted to hear that Sabrina Phillips has been appointed permanently into the role of alliance director following a competitive process.”

Bill Tidnam, chief executive at Thames Reach, said: “We’re really pleased that Sabrina has been successful in her application to the permanent alliance director role and we look forward to working closely with her over the years to come.”

Learn more about the Living Well Network Alliance on their website.

Further enquiries including press and media can be directed to: Isobel Scott, communications lead, Thames Reach:

Thames Reach welcomes new director of people

Thames Reach warmly welcomes Joanna Mark-Richards as its new director of people

Thames Reach welcomes new director of people

Thames Reach would like to publicly welcome Joanna Mark-Richards as its new director of people, joining the senior management team this month. Joanna has worked in human resources since the beginning of her professional career and has worked in the charity, further education and private sectors.  Joanna joins us from directing human resources at organisations such as TCES Independent Schools, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and Imperial College London.  She also has extensive experience as a trustee and volunteer in organisations that support people in need such as Hestia Housing and Support, Healthwatch and St John Ambulance.

As director of people, Joanna will lead human resources and work with the team to support and enhance Thames Reach’s collective approach and improve strategy and service across the organisation. Her appointment will reinforce our commitment to staff and volunteers, ensuring all members of the Thames Reach community are supported while carrying out essential work towards ending street homelessness.

She will be spending time getting to know our work, visiting staff in all projects and services across London. Bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience, we are looking forward to working with Joanna, and warmly welcome her to Thames Reach.

Joanna Mark-Richards said: “I am really excited to join Thames Reach as its first director of people to assist the organisation in achieving its vision where street homelessness is ended by delivering an outstanding people and volunteer service. I look forward to working with all employees so that we maintain and enhance our high-performance culture.”

Bill Tidnam, chief executive at Thames Reach, said: “Joanna’s appointment reflects the central importance of our staff and volunteers to the work that we do.  I’m really pleased to welcome her, and look forward to the knowledge and experience she will bring to the Thames Reach team.”

International Women’s Day: Poema, outreach lead manager

Poema Ivanova talks to us about her career progression and vocation to work in outreach support, as we mark her retirement after eight years with Thames Reach.

International Women’s Day: Poema, outreach lead manager

As part of our International Women’s Day celebrations, we spoke with Poema Ivanova, lead worker at Thames Reach’s Enfield SORT (Street Outreach Team). This week marks her last at Thames Reach after eight years of service as she enters retirement. She was selected by chief executive Bill Tidnam to discuss her work, plans for the future and International Women’s Day!

Can you tell us a bit about your service, and exactly what your role is?

I have been working at Thames Reach since August 2012 in various roles, starting as a reconnection worker before moving to the wonderful team at Tower Hamlets Street Outreach Team (SORT). After 4 years there, I went on to lead Newham SORT, which then was just a team of one. A year later I laid the foundation of the well-known SAFE Connections, the greatest team, with the greatest manager! At the end of that project, I had to take another challenge, to join Enfield SORT, to help build up the new Outreach service in LB Enfield. I am proud to say that we managed to keep the rough sleeping population in the borough under good control during the pandemic; responding to referrals, picking up people from the street as soon as we hear about them. Enfield council were able to provide the necessary resources for that, and this is a huge achievement.

What personality qualities and skills does it take to be a good outreach worker?

Good outreach work is a mission, it is not just work. One needs to be dedicated to this work, dedicated to the people in need. In normal life those people are not met every day, but we are facing these cases every day, sometimes a few a day. We need to have very large hearts, to be able to contain all this struggling people’s fates and stories, but still remaining very strong and resilient, to be able to encourage people to stand back on their feet and start sometimes probably the most difficult in their life journey towards the light, towards the sun. We need to have the hope and belief in what we are doing and be able to pass it to people in desperation. The sympathy, respect, empathy – these are the personal values, which the outreach worker must have in their day-to-day work.

What have you enjoyed about working at Thames Reach?

I would say that there was no day like the last. Every new day meant new people, new stories, new lives, new challenges. There was no time to be bored. That is how the last 8 years of my life have passed by so quickly.

I will not forget my colleagues at Thames Reach – the real treasure of the company. Working in different teams has had a very positive effect on my entire life and working experience. I had the greatest chance to watch my colleagues, my line managers growing in their roles, up to the very top.

I am very grateful to my colleagues, and now friends, for an unforgettable time together!

What are your plans for retiring?

Oh, difficult question. After dreaming about this moment for the last few years, now it has actually arrived one side of me is very happy, that I won’t have to get up for the early shift, the other half of me is crying; but I also hear a whisper: what is next? I hope my health will be good enough to allow me to enjoy the life for the coming years. I have a nice hobby to entertain me, which I hope to have more time for, and more time for my favourite flowers! And of course for my family.

I would also like to use this opportunity to celebrate all women in Thames Reach with the wonderful day of 8 March, International Women’s Day! I think in Thames Reach we have some incredible women from all different parts of the world, and are one of our most valuable assets. With their never-ending optimism and hope for a better world, with their understanding and caring nature, with their readiness to fight for every single person in need, with their generous willingness to help and support others. HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!