Jeanette Barnes, our Supporting People Manager, pictured standing above, co-ordinates her team of staff who deliver the essential support to our most vulnerable tenants across the region, through sheltered housing, floating support and for the first time, supported accommodation for young people leaving local authority care.
The Sheltered Support Service is an accommodation-based service provided in 266 sheltered properties. We have 14 sheltered schemes in: Annan (5 schemes); Lockerbie (2 schemes); Gretna (2 schemes); Kirkcudbright (2 schemes); Castle Douglas (1 scheme); Locharbriggs (1 scheme) and Stranraer (1 scheme).
DGHP sheltered staff make regular contact with residents to check on their wellbeing and make sure they are accessing all the services they need to assist them with independent living. The aim of the service is to ensure our older residents can live independently for as long as possible and the sheltered properties are specifically allocated to people with a need for this type of support.
The floating housing support service is available to our more vulnerable tenants living in other mainstream properties across Dumfries and Galloway. Housing Support Workers assist them with practical tasks to help them sustain and manage their tenancies. Without this essential support, many tenants would lose their tenancy and possibly face homelessness.
Seperate to our Supporting People service, we now operate a Tenancy Sustainment Service to assist other vulnerable tenants manage their tenancy as they begin life in a new property. Our officers help them with practical tasks like co-ordinating the heating in the property, releasing belongings from storage and finding furniture, as well as accessing funding and community care grants for those who need them most.
DGHP has a contract with the council’s Supporting People team to provide housing support services. The council help fund DGHP’s housing support services.
DGHP is registered as a Housing Support Provider with Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland (SCSWIS). This is the regulatory body that took over from the Care Commission in April 2011. The SCSWIS carry out regular inspections of DGHP’s housing support services to ensure that good quality services are being provided in line with the National Care Standards.
2012 saw a new and exciting supported housing project launched by DGHP. Work was done to a site at Holm Avenue in Troqueer, Dumfries, to build new properties, including 10 self-contained supported properties for young people leaving care. This project, the first of its kind in Dumfries and Galloway, was only possible after DGHP successfully secured £1m from the Big Lottery Fund to fund the support element of the project. The project helps prepare young people to live independently and maintain their own tenancies in the community in the long term.
The project, named Holm Park View, has almost been open for one year and has already seen young residents moving on to take on a full tenancy with DGHP or another RSL. The youngsters work with our specially trained support staff who are based on site to develop basic skills for living alone.
Former Housing minister, Keith Brown, formally opened the development in July 2012.