There is still an ongoing issue with homelessness. Try as we might to help, there are certain individuals that just seem to keep falling through the cracks in the system. We are still working with other agencies to try and rectify this. 

There have been lots of new sign ups this month, with referrals coming from the hospitals, Pullman place and the 111 service. We are grateful that people are being signposted to us in the evenings when the statutory services are closed. For many, just having somewhere to go and someone to speak to in the evenings when they would otherwise be alone with their thoughts can literally be life saving!

Support at The Cavern is open from 6pm-11pm, 365 days a year at 56 Westgate Street, Gloucester City Centre.

If you would like further information, please contact our Support at the Cavern Lead, Pam Evans at [email protected]

One of the key values of the Anchor is moving people towards independence.  Many of our trainees have experienced significant ACEs, and as a result, often haven’t grown up learning how to do some of the activities that others would consider normal parts of daily life. These could be things like catching buses, getting to GP appointments or walking into shops. The role of the Anchor team is to help the trainee identify those things that are holding them back in life, and to turn them into SMART goals. Initially the trainer may have to play a more “parental” role (in terms of transactional analysis), going to places with the trainee to build up their confidence. However, the ultimate aim is always to help the trainee become independent - to be the “adult” - and so gradually we reduce our support, and see the trainees grow in confidence and independence.

Over the last few months one team has been working with a trainee with severe agoraphobia and some long term mobility problems. Back in September she took her first steps out of her back door, and gradually she has been increasing the time she has been spending and the distance she has been going outside. By January she had made it to the end of her back garden, which felt like a huge milestone, and this month she has walked out of the back gate and right round to the front door of her house! This was a huge achievement, and she was justly proud of herself. The next step for her is to get a mobility scooter in order to get further afield.

Here at Youth Support, we have started to really settle into our new space this month and our service users appreciate the quiet and welcoming environment we've managed to cultivate there since we moved from The Cavern in January. Although change is difficult at the best of times, our team has all pulled together to make our space inviting and appealing to current service users and new sign ups alike! 

Service users have been helping out as well - our shelves are getting very crowded with crafts such as cards, diamond art and origami that they've made for each other and for the space itself. The corridor leading into Support at The Cavern and Youth Support has also started to be decorated with the various art service users have made in conjunction with the Cavern's #BeKind promotion, which really brightens up the walk and showcases just how talented so many people are!

Outside of Youth Support hours, we've also been attending various mental health roadshow events such as the 'Time to Talk' wellbeing day held at the rugby club, as well as an event attended by youth mental health organisations run by the NHS. Being able to meet other organisations with the same goals and values as us is really rewarding, not only for link building purposes but also to show the need for a service such as ours that is open every day and run by trained staff who really value what they do.

As spring is finally approaching and the days are getting longer, we plan on using the energy and positive thinking that comes along with that to carry on making our service the best it can be!