900K hostel transformation improves residents’ wellbeing
Published by N Dorrington for The Hyde Group in Housing and also in Communities
Housing association, The Hyde Group, last month (6 November 2012) celebrated the refurbishment of a five-storey Grade 11 listed building in the heart of London which is home to 19 residents who previously lived on London’s streets.
The hostel, known as the Waterloo Project, is part of Hyde’s Supported Housing programme, and is leased by Hyde from Lambeth Council and managed by homelessness charity, Thames Reach in partnership with Hyde’s Agency Services Team.
The 18th century building has been totally remodelled thanks to a grant successfully obtained by Thames Reach and Lambeth Adult Community Services from the Department of Health, as well as investment from Hyde.
“We’ve been working closely with Thames Reach to ensure the refurbishment meets the needs of service users and facilitates their recovery. We’re pleased to be part of a service that delivers innovation and positive outcomes for service users,” said Ingrid McDowell, Hyde’s Agency Services Manager.
“We’re absolutely thrilled with the success of the design and build delivered by the project team. The difference is immense and will help the staff manage it better and, importantly, enhance the well-being of residents. We’re confident this new fit-for-purpose environment will make a lasting difference to everyone living and working at the Waterloo Project,” explained James Stone, Hyde’s Supported Housing Property Services Manager.
Works included creating large, open communal spaces with good visibility. Previously it had dark, narrow corridors with steps, floors at different levels and low ceilings. The property’s lower and ground floors underwent substantial structural change involving underpinning the main load bearing walls and removing ceilings and partitions. New windows, bathrooms, toilets, heating and hot and cold water systems were also installed.
Private areas were created for psychological therapy, group work and medical care and communal areas were improved. The hub of the development is the modern kitchen area that opens onto a garden. It is where residents and staff work alongside each other to prepare food as part of Thames Reach’s self-development programme.
Significantly, the hostel is a Psychologically Informed Environment (PIE) – a place that delivers services sensitive to the complex psychological needs of the service users.
Two dedicated NHS psychologists from South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust have new spaces in which they can work with residents who have complex trauma and provide training and consultation to staff. The project is funded by Lambeth Council’s Adult Community Services.
Residents moved back into their bright and airy, revamped building on 9 November 2012.