Here to Help, Peabody’s visiting support service in Havering, has been shortlisted in the ‘Support and Care Team of the Year’ category at the National Housing Heroes Awards.

These awards, which are jointly organised by Inside Housing and the Chartered Institute of Housing, give providers the chance to showcase the work of outstanding teams and individuals within the housing and support sector.

Here to Help provides an outreach support service for vulnerable adults and families who need help to sustain their tenancies, achieve independence and reduce isolation. Following a 30 per cent cut to funding in April 2017, the team re-evaluated how best to continue to provide a financially efficient but high level service.

Subsequently a number of efficiencies were achieved which improved the standard of support for customers, reduced costs and made the service more accessible to those that really need it, in places they can easily access.

But the proof of how this service helps is in the stories of customers like Mrs Reed*. She was helping out her best friend by accompanying her to a mental health drop-in. Thanks to her chance encounter with the team, who could see that she needed help herself, Mrs Reed was supported to apply for and awarded a Personal Independence Payment of £600 per month, Pension Credit, full Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support, free prescriptions and a Blue Badge. All this meant that Mrs Reed could start to build her confidence and get out and about:

“I cannot thank you enough for all of the amazing support received,” she said. “From day one I have had a supportive presence and have seen my anxiety levels drastically reduce from all the help given. This is such a great service, I have never and will never be able to praise any other service like I can Here to Help”.

The winners will be announced at the Housing Heroes Awards ceremony on 25 June at Manchester Central as part of the Housing 2018 conference and exhibition. You can find out more about this service here.

* Not her real name