Emmanuel House is a drop-in centre based in Nottingham city centre for people aged over 18 who are vulnerable or homeless. Many of the visitors have substance or alcohol misuse issues, while others have problems with basic life skills. The centre is open during the day and most evenings, and offers multi-agency support through services such as community nurses and drug support teams, as well social activities for its visitors. An award from The National Lottery has meant that Emmanuel House can extend the services it provides.
“Our visitors are usually living on their own, either in council or housing association properties,” says operations manager Rory Sewell. “If they didn’t come to our drop-in centre, they would be sitting on their own, often cold, worried about bills and with no social life. We provide somewhere warm for them to come and socialise, as well as somewhere to get healthcare and guidance on any issues that might be troubling them.
”Activities on offer include arts and crafts, advice on budgeting, a women’s support group, a men’s group and support for health issues, and general well-being. Most of the visitors have low self-confidence when they first arrive at Emmanuel House and just being able to talk to a friendly person can make all the difference.
“J” is in his late 30’s and when he first arrived, he was very quiet and was homeless. If he was having a bad day, you would get a loud outburst, and he might kick a chair or a table. Eventually he engaged with two members of staff, who got him to see a GP in the city centre. They prescribed him medication, but it didn’t work."What started to bring him about was our Lottery funded allotment in St Ann’s. The practical activity really helped him for a while. He then had a relapse, and ended up in a psychiatric ward. Our workers persuaded the hospital not to discharge him until some accommodation had been sorted out at the YMCA - it was the boost he needed. He now comes to Emmanuel House everyday,” says Rory. "His whole demeanour changed because someone stood up for him. As a result of Lottery funding, “J” now has benefits, accommodation, regular health checks, and friends. It's a massive improvement."
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