The Single Homeless Project Sports and Health project has been highly commended in the London Homelessness Awards 2019. We asked the team at the project to tell us what an average day was like.
A day in the life of the sports and health team
Today started as a pretty normal day. We had three physical activity sessions booked in to run across some of our hostel services in Camden, Islington and Wandsworth. Before we headed out for the day we met as a team to share what had been happening, consider any issues of concern, and discuss expansion of the Sports programme. There was a lot to catch up on. We often work independently across different sites, so it’s important to feel part of a team. Billy and Sam, our main facilitators from the Sports Team, then headed straight to sessions before even managing to log on to their PCs.
My main morning task was to re-evaluate the current weekly timetable of activities we run, which already comprises 21 sessions. I wanted to see where we could fit four more sessions into the schedule without stretching people and disrupting things too much. Afterwards I assessed the new referrals we’d received to ensure that the sessions we suggested to them met their needs. Our morning activities were a gym session and a cycling session.
Billy returned back from the gym sessions promptly, which is unusual as the clients often like a chat afterwards. Sadly there had been two deaths in the hostel over the last few days and the clients were struggling to process it. The gym session had provided an outlet for clients, to talk indirectly in a way that didn’t feel so clinical but was a safe space. This was great and something we hadn’t planned to happen, so we decided to fit in an extra gym session that week. These fatalities underline the importance of the Sport & Health project, which is succeeding in delivering a range of health benefits which can extend the potential life expectancy of clients who take part in the programme.
Sam returned to the office around lunch, having had a successful morning with cycling sessions. Five people attended, one participant completed the building of his bike and was ready to go for a spin, while another who’d been thinking about starting a maintenance course in order to become a bike mechanic said he was now ready to take the plunge!
The afternoon was spent report writing and collating data gathered from our client health check-ups. So far this year we have seen a rise in undiagnosed health conditions such as diabetes, sepsis, hepatitis C, and heart conditions. Keeping a record and monitoring these clients is crucial. Lastly Billy raided the sports cupboard to try and find a pair of trainers the right size for one of his next clients and then went back out to run a chair aerobics session. Sam phoned round clients that we need to check in with and then set about finding a suitable bike maintenance course.
It’s been a long and mostly good day. We go again tomorrow.
The London Homelessness Awards ceremony, where the SHP team will receive their commendation, is on Thursday 17th October at City Hall. For more information go to www.lhawards.org.uk