Our new shower has been installed and is now in use by clients during drop-in hours. Previously their only access to a shower had been once a week at the Salvation Army, so this new facility is a real godsend. One client commented that he felt like a ‘new man’ and he promptly took advantage of an opportunity to have his hair cut as well. Many thanks to Skinner Street URC for allowing us to install the shower in their hall and to The Screwfix Foundation and Valentine Charitable Trust who provided all the money. Tom Belmont, Manager of Screwfix at Creekmoor, presented Pat and Susan with a cheque for £1000 and took a look at how we have spent Screwfix’s money.
On a March Monday the Toothbus parked up in Skinner Street, Poole to provide free dental check ups at the Routes to Roots homeless drop-in. This gave homeless and vulnerably housed people in Poole the opportunity to see a dentist for a check-up. It can be difficult to look after your dental health if you’re homeless. Karen, “I was really nervous about seeing a dentist because I know I need some work done, but the Toothbus dentist was very friendly and put me at ease. They also gave me some great advice”
There are a lot of health problems that are exacerbated by poor dental health eg. heart conditions, diabetes and pneumonia. Poor dental health can also affect how someone feels about themselves, so it’s important that everyone has easy access to NHS dental treatment.
R2R Chairman Rev Pat Southgate explained: “We support a number of homeless people who have been refused urgent dental care in the past because they weren’t registered with a dentist. We’re very grateful to Healthwatch Dorset for organising this Toothbus visit; it’s provided a safe place for the people we work with to get a dental check.”
The Toothbus Manager, Angie Naughton told us: “We’d like to thank Healthwatch Dorset & Routes to Roots for a great afternoon. The dentist saw 10 patients at the event and everyone received details of how to register with a local dentist for ongoing treatment.
The Toothbus is available to everyone. It usually parks up in Poole High Street on Mondays and in Boscombe High Street on Fridays. So, if you haven’t seen a dentist in 2 years or more – pop down and see them.
We were delighted to welcome nearly 80 people to our service at which Bishop Karen Gorman spoke movingly on the increasing problem of homelessness. She recalled how back in the 70s the vision was to eradicate homelessness but with changes in Government policy from the 80s this was still a dream. Bishop Karen spoke of the wonderful work being done in Poole through projects such as Routes to Roots and thanked all the volunteers for the work that they do as if we all did not do the work of Christ who would. The Bishop also spoke of the importance of speaking out and drawing the attention of decision makers to what things are like on the streets of Poole.
During the service Kate, one of our Trustees, updated everyone on what is happening at Amos House, our supported accommodation for three former rough sleepers. It is just about a year since they moved in and things are going well.
You can download her report with comments from two of the guys here:
Amos House Update 2017