This morning I went along to Shelter’s Hackney Hub to learn more about their work – we all know they help to fight poor housing and homelessness, but how does that manifest itself on a day to day basis?
The Hackney Hub runs as a drop in centre four days a week and anyone who has housing problems, is being threatened with homelessness, or has become homeless, can go and speak to someone for help. Their case workers can then give them the support they need, whether providing legal aid to dispute eviction notices or helping to find accommodation in their local area.
Various staff members popped in during the session to tell us about their roles. One of these was Becca, a new DIY and Skills Advisor funded through B&Q’s corporate partnership with the charity. As a social welfare student and trained carpenter, she helps those who have recently secured a roof over their head to make their homes more homely – much accommodation offered to people is far from desirable and many don’t have money for furniture, let alone decoration.
Today, she was installing a dehumidifier in a family’s flat being ravaged by damp (the council are denying there’s a problem), before going to build flat pack furniture with a family who have just moved into their first council home. As well as giving people the physical stuff they need, Becca is sharing her skills so that people are empowered to continue their home improvements themselves.
It was a really eye-opening morning and amazing to see the breadth of support Shelter offers every day.