For the first time ever, four projects (instead of one), have won the London Homelessness Awards. Each project will receive a share of a £80,000 first prize. The four winners, in alphabetical order, were Camden Health Improvement Practice, MyBnk – The Money House, Southwark Law Centre – Homeless Legal Advocacy Service, and St Mungo’s – Westminster Street Outreach Service. Two other projects were specially commended.
The first of the winners, Camden Health Improvement Practice is a GP surgery for homeless patients in Camden. Homeless people can book appointments, with a doctor or nurse, online as well as by phone. The practice also suggests self-care alternatives, on their website, for milder ailments.
MyBnk offers free programmes for young people, aged 5 to 25, that aim to build financial knowledge. They cover topics such as teaching young people how to budget, save and manage money. Education about debt and student finance is also provided. The programmes can be delivered directly in-person, virtually or completed as an online course.
Southwark Law Centre represents people who are unable to afford legal advice. Many of their clients are homeless or destitute. They provide employment law help for issues such as unfair dismissal, discrimination, equal pay, and human rights. The centre also deals with housing cases involving eviction, possession and homelessness. Immigration, welfare and planning advice is also offered.
St Mungo’s outreach service goes out each night to help homeless people move from the streets. Rough sleeping is dangerous and extremely bad for people’s health. Rough sleepers are referred to one of three London hubs where their needs are assessed. The Westminster outreach team also visits encampments, and other areas where many people have been sleeping rough for a long time, and tries to build trusting relationships with them.
The London Homelessness Awards recognises innovative organisations who offer radical but practical solutions to homelessness in London. They were set up in memory of Andy Ludlow, a pioneer in the housing sector, who devoted his time to helping the homeless. The prestigious awards have been running for twenty years.
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