There is a definite chill in air now, and much like all of you I’m sure, my thoughts are turning to the last few months of the year. With the clocks turning back, and the night’s drawing in, I realise that it has become more important to me every year to look for the light in the darkness that is brought by the Autumn.
So much has happened since I wrote my last Blog that I am excited to share with you.
October the 10th is World Homeless Day, probably one of the most important days in our annual calenda, it’s a day to take stock of how we are contributing locally to reduce homelessness, and how nationally the picture looks, what needs to change in the sector and what work can be celebrated. In an ideal world, there would be no need for AMAT UK to exist, homelessness would not affect More than 274,000 people in the UK, or the 1500 homeless or those at risk of homelessness that we support each year. The truth of the matter is, that with the biggest cost of living crisis that the UK has seen in 40 years, we are expecting to see an increase in the demand for our services – we are proud that our existence will provide the most vulnerable members of society with support, advice, guidance, and accommodation which could be lifesaving –
As well as always demonstrating best practice and providing an award-winning service to our community, we will continue to work with the local authority and national organisations that contribute to changing the way things are – we sincerely hope that the government’s pledge to “end homelessness by 2024” is upheld.
World mental health day falls on the 10th of October – we don’t think it’s a coincidence that this is also World Homeless Day. This year’s theme is “make mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority”. For AMAT UK, strengthening mental wellbeing and providing safe spaces is part of the fabric of what we do. Every resident we accommodate is allocated a support worker, we have direct referral routes into other services that support mental health, and we understand that for many of the people that we work with, being mentally “healthy” is what is required to live independently, establish and maintain meaningful and appropriate relationships and develop the coping strategies needed for ensuring that they don’t become homeless again. Providing safe spaces for residents and community members to engage with other and activities and events also promotes good mental health and wellbeing. Our community project 411 HUB is a space that is filled with opportunities to enhance wellbeing, including events, activities or just people to talk to when needed.
AMAT UK Open day. To celebrate 25 years of AMAT, we held our first public AGM. We have invited key stakeholders to attend the event, members of the local authority, other services that we work closely with and organisations that have generously donated funds to ensure that we can carry on doing what we do. There were displays around the building which detailed the history of us, how we have worked with Volunteers, and the homes and community we have created for the people that needed them most. We shared with our delegates our best practice, award winning way of working by demonstrating the support that’s on offer, the high standards of accommodation, and our community hub which can be accessed by members of the wider community. Not forgetting a chance to champion and celebrate our wonderful staff, which make the work we do possible and the biggest difference to the lives of the people that we work with.
I am so proud of our organisation, what we have achieved, how far we have come and the difference we make to the 500 residents we accommodate every year and 1000 members of the community that we support.
Because of the way that AMAT UK has expanded in the last 25 years, and how our community project 411 HUB has become an integral part of our service to not only our residents, but members of the community, I also wanted to share the news that we are rebranding the 411 HUB and changing the name to The Hive– we feel like this is a much better fit for the work that takes place out of 411, Bee’s represent change, they signify hard work and community.
As you can see it has been a busy few months, and we have so much to be proud of and look forward to, but my favourite thing that has happened is that we have had a lift installed into our main delivery and office building – 411 High Street.
Why is this my favourite thing? Because it means that we can support MORE people, people with physical disabilities can access more events and opportunities, advice, support, and guidance, as well as reducing social isolation and access all of the other resources available to them from our HIVE. It also means that we can continue with our commitment to diversifying our staff team and can offer opportunities to those with a physical disability.
Next time I write, we will be well into the festive season – which seems impossible – so much has happened this year, with still so many exciting things to come before we make it to 2023, I very much hope to see you at some of our upcoming events, which you can find details of on our Facebook and twitter pages, and as always please feel free to get in touch via our website or social pages.