The Old Theatre
The Old Theatre is an accommodation based service that supports serially excluded rough sleepers with complex needs. The project aims to provide clients with a safe place to call home where they can be supported to develop skills for independence. There is a focus on health and daily living skills, alongside substance misuse and mental health specialist support. The Old Theatre is run by Broadway and commissioned by Hammersmith & Fulham Supporting People. Referrals come from the H&F PATHS team, with priority given to Outreach clients.
Previous exclusions show that normal hostel systems haven’t worked for this client group. The Old Theatre takes a more flexible, creative and individual approach. House rules and visitors policies are written with clients to meet their individual needs and to address the issues that contributed to previous exclusions. There is a team approach to support. Each worker has in-depth knowledge of the clients and can provide support when it is needed, 24 hours a day. Each client also has a lead keyworker to coordinate support and provide consistency.
The accommodation is 12 studio flats arranged over 2 floors. Each client has a private bed/living room, bathroom and kitchen. There is a communal laundry and training kitchen, as well as an engagement room for meetings and activities.
Support at The Old Theatre is agreed and reviewed with the client. We aim to support clients with practical issues as well as achieving their personal and social goals. Typical initial support can include making a claim for benefits and seeing a GP. Clients are supported to develop daily living skills – money management, attending appointments, cleaning and food preparation.
There are on-site sessions or referral to external agencies for support with drug and alcohol use, mental health and physical health. Clients are supported to take part in activities both on-site and elsewhere such as basic skills classes, gardening, music, art, leisure activities and day trips. Project workers coordinate referrals and attendance at external agencies.
Clients are expected to: meet with support workers on a regular basis; agree support plan goals and take action to achieve them; attend weekly residents meetings; agree an individual visitor policy and house rules; respect other clients and staff, neighbours, local people and businesses; agree not to smoke or drink in the communal areas; keep flats clean and follow health & safety advice.