The Single Homeless Project (SHP) will expand its successful sport and health scheme after being awarded new funding by the London Housing Foundation (LHF).
The original scheme, funded through the National Lottery-funded Sport England Active Ageing Initiative, has run for three years and worked with a section of the population that mainstream sporting and physical activity services have traditionally struggled to reach.
Now SHP has been awarded a further £61,000 over two years to help support the expansion of the scheme.
Eloise Moller, who is Department Head of Health & Sport at SHP, explained: “We found that, by introducing physical activity into the daily lives of those experiencing homelessness, we were able to improve stress, anxiety and depression levels by 76% and overall quality of life by 62%.
“The programme has engaged over 600 clients, partnered with over 30 organisations and worked with 130 volunteers.”
The two-year extension, with funding from Sport England and LHF, will support the internal expansion of the scheme across all SHP adult services and grow an external network through strategic partnerships, information sharing and mentorship opportunities, supporting the integration of sport and health programmes in organisations within the homeless sector.
The scheme will also be evaluated and used to create awareness around the value of sport and physical activity in tackling homelessness, and advocate for the inclusion of such activities as part of key homelessness provisions.
Bernard is an SHP client. He said: “The exercises make me feel good. They give me inspiration and they give me confidence to face the world again.”
LHF Executive Chair Ian Brady said: “We first became aware of this excellent project when they applied for the London Homelessness Awards and made the shortlist.
“We are really pleased to be able to partner with them and help with funding to ensure this successful scheme can continue and grow.”