Kairos Community Trust provides hostel accommodation and treatment services primarily in Southwark, and supported housing for people with drug and alcohol problems and severe lifestyle challenges, in the wider South London community.
The Maudsley Charity have funded two part-time ‘Inreach’ workers to support residents in their transition from Kairos houses into independent living.
“Kairos is giving people hope they can renew their lives in a positive way – it's the start of a new way of life for them; of helping them into freedom”.
Mossie Lyons, Director of Kairos Community Trust, says “Thanks to this generous grant, we will be able to care for more men and women as they move from Kairos towards independent living, a time which can prove challenging and isolating for individuals who have experienced post-rehab structure. The grant will enable us to support them through this transition and for a period after their move”
Giving support with practical and emotional challenges
The role of the Inreach workers is to support people with the practical and emotional challenges of moving onto independent life. As well as visiting them, the workers often bring residents back to Kairos, which is where the name and idea of ‘Inreach’ originates.
Alongside setting up electricity or finding work, a common issue for people who leave Kairos housing is that they become isolated, at a very vulnerable time. This can have potentially very harmful results, including relapse into drugs and alcohol.
At any one time, several residents could be preparing to move into the community, so this was a vital new role created with funding from the Charity. It has been running since 1st October, and Louise Fitzgerald is one of the first Inreach workers.
Louise says “Our job is to link people with the community and provide support for each individual depending on their needs. I have accompanied someone to hospital and sat with them as they got their test results. Another time I sat with one of the female residents to get a coffee in a local café – something that she had never done before”.
Stepping stone to work for those with lived experience
The Inreach programme also provides work to two people who have experienced hardship themselves – Louise has used Kairos Community Trust services herself. It provides a stepping stone for them into the workplace, while their experiences make them ideal candidates to provide peer support for those they are helping to move on. The Trust has grown into being a user-led charity, by responding to the needs of its clients in this way.
Louise says “This is the first time I have worked in seven years. I was training in mental health but became unwell. Eventually I’d like to be working full-time, so this is a step in the right direction.”
25 years of Kairos in South London
Kairos Community Trust has 29 move-on houses across 6 boroughs primarily in South London: Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Southwark and Wandsworth. The charity works with SLaM, King’s College Hospital, Marina House and Cambridge House, and with Southwark Substance Misuse Team, as well as several local community organisations.
It recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, and over 20 years of being based in Southwark.
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