What is it?
Bishopbridge House is a 30 bed “direct access” hostel, the only such facility in Norwich. This means that single homeless people who may be sleeping rough can refer for a bed at the hostel without going through another agency. Bishopbridge House is always full and operates a waiting list with those deemed to be most vulnerable at the top of the list.
Where is it?
45 William Kett Close
Norwich NR1 4FD
Tel: (01603) 666563
The hostel is owned by Broadland Housing Association and was opened in 2002. All residents have their own en-suite rooms and ten of the residents (those newly admitted) have their meals provided. The hostel is a good, temporary living environment for people who are homeless in Norwich and also provides a good working environment for staff who provide round-the-clock support on site.
What happens there?
Residents are prepared for moves into their own independent accommodation or perhaps into another placement within the Trust network of projects or a specialist hostel managed by another provider. The average length of stay for residents at Bishopbridge House is about 4 months.
The resettlement process at Bishopbridge House is assisted by a programme of social and recreational activities aimed at providing residents with the skills and confidence they need when they leave. A measure of the success of the resettlement process continues to be the fact that very few of the residents re-appear at Bishopbridge House asking for accommodation.
A Reality Check
In September 2012, a new group (Building Better Habits) began at Bishopbridge House to support residents wanting to build their confidence and make changes to their lifestyles.
The group agreed that they would like to use their knowledge of drugs and alcohol to give a presentation to young people and inform them of the associated dangers, they wanted to use their own life experiences to show the real side of addiction.
Importantly, the group wanted this to be hard hitting with a view that if they could persuade just one young person to either seek help for their misuse or prevent them going down the same path then they would have made a difference. The group also wanted to ensure that young people were aware of help available for friends and family.
Each member of the group has used their own experience and although some of the actual slides and talks may be hard hitting and uncomfortable, each member has been happy to be truthful and honest.
The Reality Check Presentation is now being presented to schools.