At our Activity Centre we run classes to engage homeless and vulnerable people with learning opportunities and creative activities. We teach life skills to encourage re-integration back into mainstream society. We aim to raise self-esteem to a point where clients are motivated to make positive changes and become progress onto further courses independent of Maggs. Sessions aim to improve skills, knowledge and confidence and self-esteem, reduce isolation, develop co-operation, placing emphasis on improving communication, well-being and self-efficacy through participation in creative activities with other adults on a regular basis and in a safe and secure environment. The regularity of sessions will also introduce some structure and routine.
The primary beneficiaries of the project are the service users clients who make use of Maggs services, who are homeless and socially isolated homeless people in Worcester and the surrounding area who are one of the most marginalised groups in society. Most clients have multiple complex needs including health and substance misuse issues. We are seeing an increase in the numbers with significant enduring mental health issues. Around 90% (compared to 25% in the general population) have some form of mental health issues. Around 60% suffer some form of physical health issue. Intervention is essential in the development of skills to assist them in their journey out of their current difficulties. It is important to see the activities that we provide as not just an end in themselves, but part of a wider strategy of engaging with homeless people and helping them to lead a more “normal” life.
Engagement in activities promotes the development of a constructive relationship with others, thereby building the self-confidence to engage in further sessions or education increasing the probability of them continuing that journey into integration within the community.