The START Homeless Outreach Service Team at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust has been announced as one of the winners of the prestigious London Homelessness Awards 2023. The project will share a prize fund of £60,000.
Over 35 projects from across London applied for the awards this year – an increase of 20% on previous years – and the START team has now made the final four. They will find out at a special ceremony in November which prize they have won.
The START Homeless Outreach Team is a tri-borough community mental health team for homeless clients rough sleeping or in hostels. They work with clients on the streets or in housing, offering treatment and interventions across psychiatry, psychology, nursing, social work, occupational therapy, and peer support.
Fran Busby is the Clinical Service Lead for the START Team. She said:
“We make sure our team have small caseloads and so are able to provide intensive support across all the areas of need, often helping with cleaning, shopping, benefits, attending appointments and emotional support. So, in addition to providing psychiatric and psychological care, it’s not unusual to find team members building furniture, transporting baggage to a new flat, helping call the DWP and popping over with a food parcel or taking someone for coffee. We aim to provide practical hands-on care, with specialist, professional advocacy, and treatment as well.”
Simon Dow chaired the judging panel. He said:
“With a large field of strong candidates, South London and Maudsley’s START Outreach Team did well to get to the final four and fully deserve their prize. The judges were impressed with the mixture of a hands-on approach and links to specialist services. They are helping people to leave rough sleeping and re-establish themselves in the community and demonstrate just how vibrant and innovative the homelessness sector in London continues to be.”
More details about the London Homelessness Awards can be found at www.lhawards.org.uk