December 22nd, 2023
Posted in News
The legacy of our Christmas Dinner has such a wide reaching impact throughout the year. It provides us with a firm foundation to adapt and develop our services to suit the needs of the people we help. This is such an important aspect of how we operate that has seen us grow for over thirty years into the organisation we are now.
Your donations are so important as the gifts that keep on giving for The Wellspring.
Sheilagh is our Advanced Nurse Practitioner here at The Wellspring. As part of our reflections for 2023, Sheilagh has put together a post that highlights the fantastic work she does for our users.
I work 3 days a week at The Wellspring offering open access acute healthcare, advice and advocacy. 2023 was my 7th year at the Wellspring and there have been some important changes in the services offered here and elsewhere.
The provision of open access healthcare, with assessment, treatment, wound management, and advocacy continues to operate for anyone who needs it and may fall through the gaps in other services.
“The homeless and excluded groups are amongst the many who struggle to engage with services using digital technology and need a service they can access.”
The Wellspring now also offers a more structured support with mealtimes in sessions. The time in between is left open just to those receiving other support meaning the staff can focus on 1:1 engagement. This has brought people into the surgery who perhaps would not have been able to use our services without this quiet time to speak.
Despite ever improving communication and team working with local Housing, the lack of social or affordable housing locally is making life very difficult for a wide range of people. The cost of living crisis has increased so called no fault evictions that leave families with children homeless. This increases the demand on social/ affordable housing leaving too many with no chance of being housed locally even if they have lived here all of their lives.
“They face a choice of being sent away from all they know and those they love to another area or living on the streets.”
It is little surprise then that some turn to drugs or alcohol, to numb themselves to their unacceptable reality, or even commit crime in order to be sent to prison as a way of getting out of the cold.
I feel that Mental Health services locally have begun to recognise the difficulty many of our service users have regarding engagement with mainstream services to now offer a more flexible approach. The GMMH outreach rough sleeper dual diagnosis worker is a positive addition to the team around our people too.
Another heart-breaking new development is that refugees placed locally until their asylum claims were processed and have been granted leave to remain are evicted with little notice from their accommodation and many join the homeless on our streets. These men and women are traumatised, many have suffered physically and emotionally prior to fleeing their native lands. Having fought against all odds to get to a place of safety to be left to sleep on the streets where they are at risk of abuse and exploitation is devastating.
This year has seen new working partnerships, with teams supporting people who have been victims of modern slavery/ trafficking as we work to protect this very vulnerable group.
The Wellspring is here for everybody that needs to find hope and make positive change. We will never turn anyone away and we are always here.
On Christmas Day we offer that essential chance for our users to come together and celebrate. The amazing staff and incredible volunteers are here to welcome them and provide a fantastic Christmas Dinner to enjoy.
However, it is so much more than that.
It’s something bigger that speaks to who we are as people and as a society. Christmas is held in such high regard as a time of love and togetherness, with people showing that they care for each other.
As long as The Wellspring is here we will make sure that the people we help know that they deserve that too.
And we will spend the day making it happen for them.
You can help us do it.
Merry Christmas from us all at The Wellspring