Friends of Duffield supports Riverside customers to self-isolate in Derby

Customers at Riverside’s supported service for people affected by homelessness in Derby are being helped to manage their social distancing with the donation of eight TVs from a local church group.

Centenary House in Derby city centre offers supported accommodation to people with complex needs and addictions, as well as those customers accessing Riverside’s further dispersed accommodation across the city, who are being assisted in their efforts to self-isolate during the Coronavirus crisis.

Riverside customer Sharmaine with her new TV at Centenary House which has been donated by the Friends of Duffield Homeless Group to help them self-isolate.

Five churches across Derbyshire which make up the Friends of Duffield Homeless Group have supported the Riverside scheme for more than 20 years prior to lockdown, providing food packs, barbecues, curry evenings, quiz nights, college equipment as well as taking customers away for activity weekends and organising live entertainment every Christmas for the services and fish and chip suppers for New Year’s Eve.

When Riverside put the call out to members of the church for donations to help with social distancing, they received eight TVs which have been distributed to support Riverside’s vulnerable customers.

The Group has also donated £200 of Sainsbury’s vouchers to buy food for residents. The team of colleagues at Centenary House, supported by the Padley Group, have provided sausage and bacon rolls for customers twice a week on a Monday and Thursday as the number of places in the city which provide hot food has reduced significantly due to the pandemic.

Reg Smith, Area Manager at Riverside, said: “We are so grateful for the amazing support we’ve received from the Friends of Duffield Homeless Group during the COVID-19 crisis and over many years.

“We have had to close the communal areas in our services because of social distancing, so we were so pleased when the Group said they would donate TVs for those residents who didn’t have them in their rooms. The TVs have been well-received and the impact on our resident’s behaviour has been positive.

“As well as a huge thank you to the Group, I’d like to add a massive thanks to our fantastic team of front line staff who have continued to come into work to support our customers at Centenary House and have been outstanding throughout this crisis.”

Sharmaine, a resident at Centenary House, added: “I am extremely grateful to the Friends of Duffield Homeless Group for donating the TV which has made such a difference to me whilst I’ve been socially distancing. This has enabled me to watch my favourite programmes again and catch up on DVDs.”

Centenary House offers safe and secure supported accommodation for people affected by homelessness in a busy residential area of Derby, with accommodation specifically supporting customers’ complex needs linked to alcohol and substance misuse.