To All Padley Supporters
You will recall I wrote to you about four weeks ago regarding recent events which had impacted upon the delivery of our services at Padley House. Since then we have made a number of decisions which we firmly believe are in the best interests of the charity and those who we serve. In essence, we have decided to bring forward the changes which we had at first planned to introduce following relocation early next year. I explained these changes in some detail in my last letter- but, in summary they were:
Firstly, to move away from a twelve-bed hostel to eighteen dispersed single self-contained accommodation units whose residents will receive ‘floating support’ from our care staff to help their well-being and develop the skills they need for truly independent living, and
Secondly, to change the emphasis of the day centre from mostly providing emergency support to helping people become more independent by giving them the skills to look after their own health and well-being alongside finding secure long-term housing, and develop ultimately so as to be able to earn a living and move away from dependency
On the accommodation side, we have now secured agreement from Derby Homes to provide the first three self-contained units with the aim that these will be operational from early June. The remaining 15 properties will come on stream over the following months, giving us a minimum of 12 by December 2021 and the final properties being made available in the Spring of next year. This will get us where we wanted to be sooner rather than later, though it will demand much work writing new working practices, procedures and the like.
For the day centre, we decided that it would be best to begin the proposed new service in a limited way from our existing building in Beckett Street once users are allowed indoors again later in May rather than wait until we have moved into new premises – early next year. Whilst social distancing will inevitably limit access until later in the summer, we felt it right to use the current lull in our services to undertake the considerable extra necessary planning to prepare and launch the new way of working as soon as we can open our doors once more. Whilst a ‘through the door’ food service has supported many during the current lockdown, this support has, by necessity, only been partial as it has been without the face-to-face interventions which have benefitted so many in the past. We have therefore chosen to cease this, so that we can fully concentrate on the new ways of working for when the doors can open again.
So, it’s all change! Staff are busy planning the new services and working hard to ensure a ‘flying start’. Staff training features strongly in these preparations – training which we intend to extend to all our volunteers in the future so that we can build up genuine team working. We are meeting with our partners to make sure we achieve a ‘joined up’ approach across Derby – we believe that joint working will result in much more than the sum of the parts. There is much to do.
Thanks once more for all your support, care and work in the past. So often people have come up to me to say how Padley had helped them turn their lives around. Only last week someone from Chester, an ex-hostel resident, explained to me how Padley staff had helped him to free himself from his twenty-year old drug habit. He had been free of drugs for four years, now had a steady job and was renting his own flat. He still kept in touch with Padley through social media, had heard of all the changes and was just checking that we were all OK! Sometimes it is really important to remember that Padley really does make a difference to so many. And will continue to do so. Whilst the government has funded services to homeless people well during Covid, as financial restraints follow and wider economic challenges emerge, I believe that our work will become increasingly important in the years ahead.
I will be writing again with another update once we have started the dispersed housing service, developed the new “day centre” model and have more definite news about relocation. Meanwhile, your views are always welcome. If you would like to share any ideas you have about the way forward then please write to [email protected] marking your email ‘Padley- the future’ so your ideas can contribute to the discussions of staff and trustees. I look forward to hearing from you as we plan our exciting future!
With best wishes,
PS Don’t forget our shop in East Street opened again on 12 April!