It’s been a busy time with an increase in visits to our centre of 7.6% between July and December 2016 and we now regularly see 65 people a day in need to our Advice & Support and Survival services. In co-operation with Exeter City Council, we were able to offer overnight accommodation for 23 nights from November 23rd until the new Night Shelter became available, and accommodated up to 10 rough sleepers per night.
Our Christmas opening went well with 41 clients accessing the centre on Christmas Day and 45 people on Boxing Day. Given the high number of people wishing to volunteer at St Petrock’s over the Christmas period, a Christmas Volunteers Induction meeting was introduced and will be run again in October 2017.
Having successfully funded a specialist welfare rights worker to help clients navigate the complex and time consuming changes in Welfare reform and a weekly mental health practitioner; both these services are now working at full capacity.
Looking forward, we hope to extend our Private Rent & Support tenancy training into neighbouring Teignbridge, East and Mid Devon and are looking to purchase a small property to provide emergency supported accommodation for potential private rented clients.