Staff and clients of leading homelessness charity St Mungo’s welcomed a very special guest to their Grange Road service when His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent visited to officially open the recently refurbished project.
His Royal Highness, who is Patron of St Mungo’s, visited last week (21 March) and was given a tour of the building which is located in Southwark, London, before meeting residents and workers.
With funding from St Mungo’s, the City of London Corporation and the Greater London Authority, the Grange Road site has been completely refurbished to reflect St Mungo’s ethos that the design and quality of buildings and the principles of Psychologically Informed Environments (PIE) support clients as they recover from homelessness.
The service delivery is funded by the City Corporation, and expands the range of accommodation, support and routes away from homelessness for those who have slept rough in the Square Mile.
Emma Haddad, Chief Executive of St Mungo’s said: ‘’The transformation of Grange Road is an excellent example of what can be achieved by collaborative partnership working between St Mungo’s, the City of London Corporation and the Greater London Authority.
“At St Mungo’s it’s not just about getting people off the streets and into a bed, it’s also about providing an environment to recover. The last two years of hard work has resulted in this amazing flagship facility which will help support hundreds of clients for years to come.
“It was so wonderful that His Royal Highness was able to come and officially open the service and to spend some time with residents and staff.”
Grange Road resident Darren, who met with The Duke during his visit, said: “I’d been on the streets for two years before coming here, I was offered a room by St Mungo’s during the recent cold weather.
“It was a blessing, it is so nice to have somewhere clean and safe to stay. I really like my room, it’s great to have my own personal space.
“It was nice to meet His Royal Highness, it’s a bit different for me to be chatting to a member of The Royal Family!”
Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Community and Children’s Services Committee, Ruby Syed, said: “We are proud to invest £700,000 every year in the new Grange Road hostel, which is helping some of the Square Mile’s most vulnerable rough sleepers with complex needs.
“Working with our partners we are helping more people than ever before, supporting rough sleepers into long term accommodation, and providing access to mental health services, GP registrations, and dental care.”
Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development at the Greater London Authority, Tom Copley, said: “I am delighted that we’ve been able to help St Mungo’s to transform their flagship Grange Road service to better support homeless Londoners on their recovery journey.
“The Mayor and I are committed to tackling rough sleeping and through the hard work of Our City Hall team and charity partners we’ve managed to help a record 13,500 people as we work to build a fairer London for all.”
The new Grange Road facility includes a welcoming reception area, a choice of environments for staff and clients to interact in including confidential meeting rooms, break out spaces, training, communal areas and occasional dining areas.
There is a work zone, staff administration and wellbeing areas, two gardens, as well as 29 refurbished bed spaces some of which are en-suite with kitchenettes.
The new service will provide psychological and trauma informed support to clients with multiple needs who require intense and personalised support to positively progress as they recover from homelessness.
The service welcomed its first clients in November 2022 and currently accommodates 29 people.