Awards Finalist – Waterloo Housing Group/Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust – Steps Project

Waterloo HA and Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) commenced working together on a number of projects in 2006 at sheltered and extra care schemes across Birmingham and Solihull. Starting with provision of a facilities day (STEPS) to enable BSMHFT to establish support and therapy groups for older people with mental health distress and to enable them to receive on-going support in the community, the two organisations have continued to work closely together to provide a range of opportunities at schemes for local older residents and tenants. These include different types of therapy groups, dementia specific interventions, art classes and other specialist support. In return BSMHFT has provided free training to the housing associations staff on working with people with a range of mental health conditions as well as specialist support and advice for staff managing challenging cases.

13. Waterloo - Steps Project - photo


Why we liked this project

This is a good example of successful, sustainable partnership working which benefits older people with mental health issues both at sheltered schemes and in the wider community across Birmingham and Solihull. The sheltered schemes provide a less stigmatised environment and serve as hubs where local older people can access the therapies they might need as well as improve their general health and well-being and develop friendships which help address isolation and loneliness. Some people have also considered moving into sheltered accommodation after attending the groups and/or participated in other existing social activities.

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