The end of March sees the end of the homeless shelter until next winter. This has, by far, been the worst year for us in terms of the number of homeless people we are seeing signing up to Support at the Cavern. We anticipate this number rising substantially when the winter shelter closes. Although we are doing our best to help people connect with right agencies, many are either resisting help for various reasons or are not able to be helped because of severe mental health issues and/or substance abuse, which means they unable to hold an accommodation long term. We will continue to work with service users and the accommodation agencies to connect as many as possible but we are all feeling the frustration. 

Support at The Cavern provides face-to-face listening support, low level interventions such as board games and adult colouring, inclusive activities and offers a supportive environment. Utilising The Cavern coffee shop and The Studio, there is a space suitable for everyone. We help people feel less isolated, cope with anxiety, meet new people and provide support at a time of day when little low level or early intervention support is available from the statutory services. We are open 365 days a year from 6pm-11pm.

We are funded by Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group for this service and we work closely with the wide range of statutory mental health services to ensure a joined up approach. 

If you would like more information or feel you could help in any way, please contact our Support Lead, Pam Evans, at [email protected].

At the Anchor we often work with people who have “fallen through the gaps” with other services, especially for “non-engagement”. The nature of the Anchor programme means that we are able to make allowances for people’s complex emotional needs, and take the time to build up trust, even when initial attendance is quite flakey. The beauty of an intensive programme like the Anchor is that is can be shaped to meet the needs of the individual, and while we offer structure through regular sessions, and setting SMART goals, it is often the “soft skills”, like communicating about appointments, turning up to them and being on time that make a real difference to someone’s long term independence.

This year we have worked with a person with severe OCD. This person has had to overcome many challenges, struggling with anxiety, paranoia and decision making as well as OCD, so sometimes simply arriving for sessions has been a challenge. It is remarkable to see how this person has developed over the year: as he comes to the end of the programme he is starting to volunteer for different departments of Treasure Seekers and he is really applying all that he has learnt, not just for himself, but in supporting others too. 

Spring is here, and as flowers start to grow, so do new friendships!

This month, Youth Support has had a real focus on friendship. We have been delighted to have had a number of new signups and witness how welcoming people have been. Both staff and service users have been encouraging the engagement of new signups which has been great to witness. New friendships have been made and existing ones strengthened.

Following the friendship theme, we will soon have some bright and beautiful art work to add to our growing collection on the walls entering into support. Staying creative, our origami skills have taken a huge leap this month! Who knew you could create inflatable origami!?

We have continued to engage with other youth mental health organisations through March. These relationships are vital to what we are doing in youth support. Maintaining these links ensure we are able to offer the best support possible, whilst also assisting other organisations grow and work towards our shared goals.

It’s been a pretty wet month, though we are hopeful April showers will bring May flowers. We’re so excited to see more of the sun and with that, some new friends joining us in youth support