Since March 2022, the BID has been co-funding the position of an Outreach Worker with South Western Railway, to be based around Waterloo Station and the surrounding areas.
With railway stations frequently drawing a larger proportion of those vulnerable and sleeping rough, South Bank businesses have highlighted to us previously their hope for a more supportive and considered approach to providing help to those sheltering locally.
Our Outreach Worker, Joe, works as part of the Thames Reach team to provide a much more coordinated response to this issue, as individuals at risk locally now interact with one consistent face on a day-to-day basis. Alongside this being a much more human experience, Joe is also able to tap into a wide range of networks across the borough, to help streamline and make the process of providing support more effective and targeted.
We’re happy to say that since the introduction of the service a year ago, we have seen an increase in the number of those referred into accommodation, with a wider range of temporary housing solutions being made available to those in a vulnerable position.
There has also been an uptake in those who have been referred to Employment, Training and Education services, with a number now finding work in restaurants or being enrolled onto gardening courses.
Joe’s work has also developed local insight and understanding of some of the surrounding factors impacting those currently seeking help, such as an increase in those needing the support and guidance of immigration services.
If you’d like to learn more about the Outreach Worker and how they deliver support to those at risk locally, get in touch at BID@southbanklondon.com.