Published Thursday, 27th June 2019

A partnership of East Surrey councils has successfully bid for government funding of £55,000 to provide specialist support to those who are sleeping rough, or are at risk of it.

Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, along with Mole Valley District Council, Tandridge District Council and Epsom & Ewell Borough Council, bid jointly for the money to fund a crucial Navigator post in the area. This specialist will focus on developing relationships with people who are sleeping rough and often have complex needs. The Navigator will help them to access appropriate local services, and give them long term support to help them off the streets and into settled accommodation. They will also aid in their recovery and in finding employment or training, with the aim that individuals can avoid returning to the street.

Delivered through the partnership-funded East Surrey Outreach Service (eSOS), the new post will allow quicker and smarter outreach work with individuals with more complex needs, as well as saving repeat emergency contact with partner organisations. It will also allow other eSOS staff more time to support individuals with less complex needs - last year eSOS outreach staff worked with 249 clients across the four council areas.

The funds come from the Rapid Rehousing Pathway scheme run by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

Councillors with responsibility for Housing from the four Councils commented, “We are very pleased that we have secured this vital funding that will direct further help those who are sleeping rough, giving them long-term tailored support to be able to get off and remain off the streets.

“We greatly value our partnership across East Surrey, and the funding for this new post is testament to the benefit of cross-Council working in improving outcomes for some of our most vulnerable residents.”

Kristian Draper, Area Director at Thames Reach who deliver eSOS on behalf of the partnership, added, “This funding will have a significant positive impact on our work to support homeless and vulnerable people in East Surrey. The new Navigator post will work to help rough sleepers across East Surrey move away from the streets.”