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Supported-living residents litter-pick to make community better

todayAugust 26, 2021 1

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Residents at the supported-living complex at Merchant’s Terrace in London Road, Lynn, have taken part in a clean-up of the area surrounding the property.

The idea came from the residents themselves at the monthly meeting held to discuss what should be in their agenda.

Francis Bone and Suzy Bell, who are both key workers at Merchant’s House, arranged with the council to provide litter bags and litter picker sticks for the group of residents who wanted to be involved with the project.

Team members of Sanctuary Supported Living at Merchant's House with their residents. (50582101)
Team members of Sanctuary Supported Living at Merchant’s House with their residents. (50582101)

The council clean up team will collect the filled rubbish bags to dispose of them safely.

Working their way up towards South Gate wearing high vis jackets and blue gloves the group set off picking up litter, cigarette ends and even retrieving an empty drink can from a pond and looping back to Merchant’s Terrace.

The residents at Sanctuary Supported Living at Merchants Terrace, have all experienced being homeless and experiencing complex issues, finding themselves on the streets sleeping rough Sanctuary Supported Living offers just that, a sanctuary from being street homeless.

Lee Nortrop with his key worker Sheena Neve (50582080)
Lee Nortrop with his key worker Sheena Neve (50582080)

Residents are single homeless people with support needs, including ex offenders or those at risk of re offending, people with alcohol, drug and mental health problems.

The residential site has 12 staff providing 24 hour waking cover and once referred there is a key worker system with four to six residents per key worker with weekly and monthly meetings.

An action plan is implemented with agreed outcomes and support workers provide advice and support around benefits, housing and independent living skills.

Lewis Terry, 25, has received support from Merchant's House after sleeping rough in a tent. (50586460)
Lewis Terry, 25, has received support from Merchant’s House after sleeping rough in a tent. (50586460)

Self referrals are accepted where people seeking help can present at the door or phone daily for information about vacancies in the facility which has 11 en-suite rooms, five flats and three semi independent flats.

Lee Nortrop, 42, originally from Blackpool, found himself homeless after he had moved to Lynn and was living rough before moving into a ‘pod’.

With ADHD and anxiety, the medication Lee was taking caused some side effects that led to angry outbursts.

Now he has turned his life around with the help at Merchant’s Terrace and he particularly praises his key worker Sheena Neeve.

Lee Nortrop says his life has completely turned around (50582098)
Lee Nortrop says his life has completely turned around (50582098)

He said: “Sheena saw something in me and let me tell you they need to have a good sense of humour to deal with me. I am much better at thinking about the consequences of my actions now and I want to live my life, I am too old to still be getting in to trouble.”

Support workers assist in all areas of the resident’s life and also through court processes.

Sheena said: “We get people here who have absolutely nothing, and who have lost their home. They come here and there is a complete turn around, it doesn’t happen every time but when it does it makes the job really rewarding. Lee has really changed and is much more positive and able to manage his actions.”

Lewis Terry 25, became homeless when he had a violent argument with who he was living with and he ended up sleeping in a tent. He befriended other homeless people and started drinking heavily and found himself going down a slippery slope.

He said: “I used to sleep near the Hungry Horse in Lynn. I hope to get a job, I have been offered a one-bedroom house in Downham. The council have helped me through Merchant’s Terrace. I used to be a chef and I would like to start working again, learn to drive and find a trade.”

Murray Hopwood, 55, is passionate about punk music and Ian Dury the rock singer. He has lived rough in Camden and other areas and has family connections in Dersingham.

He said: “Peace is a word that can make a lot of difference in this world, it could change the world. I am not sure of my next step but it will be towards living independently.”

The next project at the Merchant’s House is to improve the garden area and once the funding is approved, the residents can start another worthwhile endeavour.

There are plans for a before and after project with an allotment that will no doubt bring the residents a lot of satisfaction.

Murray Hopwood leads the way in the tidy up. (50582094)
Murray Hopwood leads the way in the tidy up. (50582094)

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todayAugust 26, 2021