A guest post from Michael Angus, Manager of the Barons Court Project
The Barons Court Project is a small charity which operates a Daycentre for people vulnerable through mental health issues and for street homelessness people. We have been operating in the borough of Hammersmith & Fulham since 1985. Our aim is to provide a safe and welcoming environment that meets the needs of our users. The alcohol and drug free project has a drop in on Monday’s to Wednesday’s from 2-5pm.
At the drop in we have a variety of services including showers, laundry, clothing bank and a cost-price café. These services allow street homeless people and those affected by mental health to meet basic their needs to be clean and also to have healthy nutritious meals. We also have a TV Lounge and front room where people can meet, chat, play games and take part in activities and run relaxation and stress management sessions
On Thursday we run structured activities to teach life skills including cooking and computer classes to groups of eight people for eight weeks at a time. On Friday we have a Women’s group and a Black and Minority Ethnic Group (Green Palm) that meet at the centre.
The staff also have 1-1 meetings in the mornings with Service Users to give advice, guidance and information on subjects such as budgeting, benefits, housing, education, employment and training and accessing services in the borough.
Through this diverse mix of services we work hard to improve the quality of life for around 500 service users per year.
The aim of the project is to improve the quality of life of people that use our Daycentre by offering them the opportunity to partake in social activities that most of us can take for granted. At our monthly Community Meetings Service Users decide the activities for the month and that will improve their mental and physical health and wellbeing.
We are part funded by the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and also the National Health Service but this grant funding only meets about 50% of our costs. We are reliant on raising money from trusts and other grant making bodies to meet the shortfall.
You could help the project in a number of ways. We need the following items to give to users or for use in the centre.
Toiletries including: Shower gel, disposable razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste and shaving foam and Bath Towels for the people who use our shower, 975 showers were taken here last year.
Clothing: New Men’s socks, T’ Shirts and Underwear for the street homeless people we serve. Last year we gave out 376 items of clothing.
Tea, Coffee, Tinned Food and dry goods such as Pasta and rice, to use in the kitchen and keep our costs down. Last year we served 3,195 meals.
We are looking for volunteers for a range of roles, so that we can open more hours and increase the activities for the people we serve.
We also need new trustees for the project
Finally monetary donations to help cover our costs and cover the deficit
Please contact Michael Angus – Project Manager via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 0207 603 5232, if you able to help with any of the above.