Kennedy House in South Wigston cannot normally allow visitors inside the accommodation areas, but welcomed nearly 40 guests for a full guided tour of the centre, and to meet staff and residents. Guests included representatives from support services and key professions, including housing associations, youth services, health workers and work placement teams. Local Councillor Bill Boulton and representatives from Shaw healthcare, who owns Kennedy House, also took part in the birthday celebrations. The open day marked 20 years since Shaw began delivering services at Kennedy House.
The centre works with each resident on an individual basis, helping them to address their personal objectives and take steps towards moving to more independent accommodation. Staff provide support both in-house and through linking with appropriate local agencies, with the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust Homeless Mental Health Service and other drop-in services visit on a regular basis. Residents are able to access advice on practical life skills, debt management, welfare and housing benefits, family law and substance misuse, as well as taking part in a range of creative and vocational workshops.
The afternoon was rounded off with a buffet lunch and birthday cake designed by staff and residents.
Jen Lovegrove, manager of Kennedy House, said, “The open day was a fantastic success and I am delighted that so many individuals and organisations were able to join us to celebrate this important milestone. As a homeless hostel, we are not normally able to allow visitors into the accommodation, so we were very pleased to have the opportunity to open our doors to so many people and show them some of the work we do.
“We are committed to taking a holistic approach to our residents, working with them as individuals to see how we can best help them meet their needs. Over the last 20 years Kennedy House has gone from strength-to-strength and with the continuing support of Shaw and our fantastic team I am excited to see what we can achieve in the future.”
Two members of staff, Tim Pickering, Senior Project Worker, and John Cowen, Deputy Manager, are also celebrating their own 20-year milestones as part of the Kennedy House team this year.
Kennedy House provides temporary accommodation for single homeless men and women aged 16 and upwards. The purpose-built centre provides 56 single bedrooms in 12 fully-furnished flats, with residents sharing the bathrooms, kitchen, lounge and dining area. There is also a snooker room, TV lounge and a small laundry.
Shaw healthcare is one of the UK’s leading health and social care providers. It provides care to individuals in nursing and residential homes, hospitals, supported living arrangements, extra care schemes and domiciliary care settings. Its services range from comprehensive care packages through to low level support in the community for older people and adults with physical, sensory or mental health support needs.