Rough sleepers with alcohol problems in Bognor Regis are set to receive more help thanks to a Government grant.
Public Health England has awarded £188,465 to charity Stonepillow and West Sussex County Council to improve services in the town.
The money will be used to redevelop and refurbish a purpose-built resource hub in Bognor Regis, open to people who are homeless or vulnerably housed in the town and surrounding areas.
Hilary Bartle, chief executive officer of Stonepillow, and the board of trustees of the charity issued a joint statement where they described being ‘very excited’ by the successful funding bid.
They said: “It will allow us to undertake the refurbishment and development required to deliver a resource hub in Bognor Regis linking to the Stonepillow Glenlogie day service and Ellasdale Road hostel.
“It will create a clear pathway for rough sleepers and homeless vulnerable clients with substance misuse issue to access alcohol treatment and receive medical and therapeutic interventions.
“We look forward to working with our partner agencies and clients in getting this project up and running so we can get on and deliver an innovative multi-agency service.”
The funding will see the design and re-construction of the building, as well as the redecoration of the interior and refurnishing, along with the purchase of equipment including items for a medical treatment room and IT suite.
Alcohol misuse costs society £21 billion each year and effective alcohol treatment can help to reduce the burden placed on health and social care services.
People who are homeless or in non-permanent housing are often the most vulnerable in society, and whilst many use alcohol to cope with life on the streets, they are also at greatest risk of experiencing alcohol-related harm and ill health.
By providing capital funding, local authorities can prioritise alcohol treatment, invest in equipment and facilities and ensure that treatment expertise is enhanced to better meet the needs of people with alcohol problems, particularly those who may be hard to reach.
Anna Raleigh, director of public health at the county council, said: “This funding will allow us to support some of the most vulnerable resident in our communities, and I am very pleased that PHE has recognised the huge potential that this project has to have a positive impact on our residents’ lives.”
The Bognor Regis project is one of 23 acrosss the country that shared a pot of £6million worth of Government funding.
Rosanna O’Connor, director of alcohol, drugs and tobacco at PHE, said: “Alcohol misuse causes significant harm to society and can tear people’s lives apart.
“The outstanding range of exciting and innovative local projects that we are funding will make a real difference to communities, across the country, with an important focus on helping those that are most vulnerable in our society.
“We want to encourage more people, particularly parents and people sleeping rough, to access treatment by making facilities more suitable for their needs and removing the stigma around receiving treatment.”