Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Social activities for homeless

May 18 2009
Homeless people should be more involved in cultural and social activities, according to a new report The research, commissioned by Westminster Primary Care Trust (PCT) and carried out by the charity Broadway, revealed that social and cultural activities can help improve the lives of people by offering them distraction and relief from drugs and alcohol problems. "There are many health benefits in running these kind of activities as they help to reduce isolation, promote social networks, and aid and develop self-esteem and communication," said Mark Grant, Broadway director of services. Grant added that Broadway regularly sees the benefits of such activities within their hostels and day centre, which have creative-writing classes, music and art groups, plus various clubs such as fishing, gardening and cookery. "These activities give clients a sense of achievement, increase confidence and aid the development of new skills," said Grant. "For those who have mental health problems, they also offer a distraction and help to reduce anxiety and depression." After gathering feedback from 45 people, as well as doctors and others working with the homeless in Westminster, the report made a few key recommendations. These include better coordination across agencies to ensure that people know where and when these activities are taking place. Crucially, it also suggested that homeless people themselves should be more involved in developing these social and cultural activities.