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A Day in the Life of ... Hamoaze House

A Day in the Life of ... Hamoaze House

A Day in the Life of ... Hamoaze House

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Photo: Fun Day at Hamoaze House, August 2017 

Path is one of the Frontline Network's Partner organisations and Jane Cookson is their Frontline Network Co-ordinator. Jane is doing a series of "A Day in the Life of ..."  blog posts, spending a day with Plymouth's frontline services, working with people experiencing homelessness or vulnerably housed. She will be highlighting good practice and sharing challenges faced by those working on the frontline.

A Day in the Life of ... Hamoaze House

I have worked within Plymouth's Homeless sector for well over 22 years, although 17 of those were with the local authority. I had heard of Hamoaze House and knew they helped people manage their addictions but I didn't really know how. I would mention Hamoaze in passing when I wasn't sure what else to suggest to someone struggling to get through their days without going out to score. It was about time this lack of knowledge changed.

A charitable trust bought Hamoaze from the Navy in 1998 for the sole purpose of providing help and support to families and those affected by substance misuse. The information on their website is clear as to their mission statement and how the team will help service users manage their addictions. The activities offered are many and varied, from group therapy to individual plans, from parenting support to leisure and sport activities. Anyone who refers to Hamoaze House should check out their website.

I spent a day with the workers and service users at Hamoaze House Day Treatment Centre - I did not visit Seymour House, which is specifically for 11 to 16 year olds who experience difficulties engaging with mainstream education.

To start the day, I sat in on the daily staff catch-up meeting. This proved an excellent way to keep the staff team in touch with each other and issues were actioned immediately. I would definitely advocate finding 20 minutes to do this in a busy non-office based service.

I then had some time to spare before attending the daily group session, and a service user of just 6 weeks offered to show me around. There was a gym and trained staff available to support health and fitness goals - exercise is used as a way of supporting positive mental health. There was also a fully kitted out and beautifully colourful creche, and a room for indoor sports activities, into which I would venture later in the day.

The daily group session at 10am had fourteen participants, on a quiet day. It was more challenging than I expected, and I saw service users getting great value from it.

Lunch was provided, as it is every day, by Angie and some helpers. Staff and service users helped to clear up afterwards.

Angie is also mentoring 6 service users to train for next year's Plymouth half marathon and they go out running 3 mornings a week.

I returned to the indoor sports room in the afternoon. I felt the team and individual activities were enjoyed by everyone and there were no issues in the room. The activities helped show service users their worries did not have to be the main focus, and that spending time and interacting with others could be a positive experience. 

I really enjoyed my day at Hamoaze House and I thought all the staff, both frontline workers and managers, were fully committed to giving service users the support required to learn how to live without their substance of choice, in a warm and safe environment. 

Referrals can be made by other organisations or people can self refer. Please call Hamoaze on 01752 566100 or email office@hamoazehouse.org.uk  Food & monetary donations are always welcome, as are volunteers.

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