By Dan Barron and Sam Dixon, Heart of the Community Project Workers
Shaftesbury House is a residential unit that resides in the center of Rotherham. It comprises 69 self-contained flats run by Rotherham Council (RMBC), with 6 available for use by the NHS for people with care needs coming out of hospital but are unable to go back to their own properties.
Heart of the Community has been working with the group at Shaftesbury House for a number of months, building up relationships and gaining the confidence of the group. Shaftesbury House Association are a motivated group that regularly deliver a range of activities to get residents together to tackle the social isolation.
As a project we worked with the group to promote their activities and there has been an immediate increase in engagement from residents. The quiz night, for example, was regularly seeing an attendance of 5 or 6 residents, this week 14 residents attended.
After several meetings, projects workers learnt that residents would benefit from a multi service drop-in supported by the various RotherFed teams and RMBC. We planned a four-hour event with free refreshments. In attendance were the More Energy Know How team, Making Our Money go Further, the local housing officer and the Estates Services Officer.
The event was positive with 19 residents engaged with the RMBC Housing services to discuss issues they are experiencing in the housing complex. The same residents were also supported by the More Energy Know How team talking about how they could save on bills with the frosty chill of winter on the doorstep. RotherFed were able to deliver a busy session overall with plenty of hot drinks, biscuits and cakes flowing with some residents happy they were able to speak to services.