As a registered charity, Bedford Concern for the Homeless and Rootless (BeCHaR) has been running The Prebend Day Centre since 1993. We take a holistic approach to helping individuals take the next step towards reintegration into the local community. We achieve this through our drop-in centre and support team, which is available to vulnerable men and women (individuals in crisis) aged 16 and over; 365 days a year.
The centre has a team of 7 fulltime equivalent staff in the following 11 roles– Chief Executive Officer, Day Centre Manager, Part Time Senior Support Worker, 4x Part Time Support Workers, Part Time Fundraising Assistant, Part Time IT Coordinator, Part Time Chef-Kitchen/Manager and a Part Time Community Garden Project Officer. They are assisted in their roles and activities by around 40 volunteers throughout the year.
The Charity is overseen by a voluntary board of trustees who bring a wealth of expertise and experience to the organisation. They are: Rob Huddart – Chairman, Fergus Crombie – Deputy Chairman, Alistair Law – Treasurer, Gerry Garner – Company Secretary, Ken Borneo, Clare Watt and David Noble.
The Prebend Day Centre offers wrap around services that enhance other service provisions in the local area. These wrap around services provide all the necessary amenities and facilities to individuals to remain dignified whilst we work with them to address their individual needs. Our support team specialise in offering advice, advocacy and pathway referrals onto other specialist organisations, agencies and services.
BeCHaR has its own assessment tool called The BeCHaR Assessment Form; this document is completed with each individual when they first start using our service and formulates the backbone to their individual profile. As members of the Hostel Forum we use the CAPITA system to refer individuals into hostels and other supported accommodation. However if someone presents themselves as No Fixed Abode we refer them into the council led No Second Night Out team managed by NOAH Enterprises. Where they are assessed and depending on certain criteria given a single offer of accommodation. Should however an individual of No Fixed Abode not meet the No Second Night Out criteria the BeCHaR Support Team then work to help either secure private rented accommodation or encourage the individual to reconnect/relocate to an area they can receive local authority support.
- Showers and toilets.
- Laundry (washing and drying).
- Clothing Bank.
- Canteen serving hot food daily.
- TV lounge and activity lounge with a pool table and football table.
- Courtyard with seating and a sheltered smoking area.
- Medical room.
- Meeting room for client engagements.
- Dedicated support office for client engagements and assisted telephone calls.
- Dedicated and professional support team of six, headed by a Senior Support Worker.
- Housing access and advice (NSNO, CAPITA and other referral means).
- Benefit access and advice.
- Substance and alcohol misuse service access and advice.
- Key working sessions.
- Emotional support and access to counselling.
- Mental health access and advice.
- GP registration, access and advice.
- Access to telephones
- Allotment Community Garden Project – Together we Grow.
Catering and Food Provision:
Our chef and a dedicated team of volunteers provide a food service 7 days a week, 365 days of the year. The produce used for the cooking is sourced from generous donations off of the local community and local suppliers. We run a simple philosophy with our food service; to provide nutritious home cooked meals, using only (where possible) locally sourced and donated produce, which we sell back at cost price to the individuals that dine with us. We acknowledge that we work with individuals facing need, hardship and distress; therefore we ensure that there are free dining options.
Our food service and times are as follows:
- Monday – Friday (excluding Bank/Public Holidays):
- Breakfast, 8:30AM until 9:30AM –Cereal or Porridge = £FREE
- Lunch, 11:00AM until 11:30aM – Light Lunch = £FREE
- Paid all day options menu available throughout opening hours.
- Saturday – Sunday:
- Lunch, 11:00AM until 11:30AM – Light Lunch = £FREE
- Bank/Public Holidays:
- Lunch, 11:00AM until 11:30AM – Main Course = £FREE, Dessert = £FREE
Visiting Satellite Services:
The Prebend Day Centre has worked extremely hard in the recent three years to develop into a ‘Hub’ and ‘Focus Point’ for other organisation, agencies and services. We encourage other services to offer ‘Satellite Clinics’ from the organisations facilities. This has proved invaluable.
- Kings Arms Project – Rough Sleeper Outreach Worker, weekly on Mondays 10:00AM until 12:00PM.
- General advice and advocacy.
- Specific ongoing client support.
- Pathway Referrals.
- CAN Partnership Clinics, weekly on Mondays 10:00AM until 1:00PM.
- General advice on their service.
- Encouraging disengaged clients to reengage.
- Pathway referrals to their service.
- On specifically booked days: Drug and Alcohol Awareness Training & General First Aid/ Overdose Awareness Training.
- Solicitors, fortnightly on Fridays 10:00AM until 12:00PM.
- General Law advice.
- Supporting ongoing legal proceedings.
- Assistance in obtaining funding for court proceedings.
- General Practice Nurse, twice weekly: Thursday & Fridays 9:00AM until 11:30AM.
- General nursing, health checks.
- Pathway referrals to A&E, GP’s and Mental Health Team (Crisis Intervention).
- Hepatitis Vaccinations.
- Blood Borne Virus screening.
- Flu Immunisations.
- Sexual health advice, access to condoms, pregnancy tests and Chlamydia tests.
- Chiropodist, every quarter ( 3 monthly)
- General foot care.
- Foot health advice.
- Woodgreen Veterinary Clinics, every quarter ( 3 monthly)
- Free pet health checks.
- Free flee and worming treatments.
- Free claw and teeth treatments.
- Free ID Micro Chipping and registration.
- Free food, collars, muzzles, leads, coats, bedding and other accessories.
- Support applying for grants for further treatments required.
- Haircuts 4 Homeless ( monthly )
- Free professional hairdressing
We also facilitate Community Practice Nurses who attend daily to help administer medication for individuals receiving care in the community and throughout the week we allow access to the medical room and meeting room to agencies wishing to engage our guests at the charities property for specific individual reasons.
BeCHaR is a vital service in Bedford, providing the necessary holistic and wrap around care provisions enabling individuals to engage further with other service, agencies and organisations. We are recognised successfully for your contribution and we are active members in the following partnership management groups and forums:
- Complex Homeless Intervention Panel, every month.
- Group meeting for NSNO partners.
- Discussing individuals who are hard to reach and/or have complex issues.
- Discussing individuals for reconnection.
- No Second Night Out Action Group, every 8 weeks.
- Discussing and updating policy and procedure.
- Progress reporting and feedback.
- Supported Housing Forum, every 6 weeks.
- Forum for information sharing, good practice sharing.
- Panel to discuss all rough sleepers and individuals in need of housing.
- Training opportunities.
- Hostel Forum, every 6 weeks.
- Forum for information sharing, good practice sharing.
- CAPITA information sharing (Bedfordshire’s Hostel Vacancy Database).
- Panel to discuss all Hostel residents.
- Training opportunities.
- CAPITA User Group Forum, every 6-8 weeks.
- Training on updates.
- Sharing ideas and suggestions.
Current Service Demand:
In these times of increased living costs and the biggest changes in benefit and healthcare reform in a century; BeCHaR undoubtedly are not only feeling the financial cuts but an unprecedented continuous demand for our services.
- A decrease of 9% based on last year’s attendance figures.
- An average of 70+ individuals daily.
- Approx. 83% male to a 17% female attendance.
Costs of Service Delivery:
- Expected yearly overall cost – £215,000.00
- Expected daily cost – £589.04
- Cost to tax payer, trusts and community supporters – £8.41 per client attending each day (based on expected average of 70 individuals attending the service daily).