Riverside’s innovative Street Buddies scheme has been shortlisted in the prestigious Team London Awards 2017, run by Mayor Sadiq Khan!
The awards has several categories which recognises volunteers that do great things for the city.
Street Buddies in Westminster has been nominated in the Skills and Development category, recognising the positive impact the scheme makes to the community. The team of eight will hear if they’ve won when the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in City Hall on November 6.
The outreach service is led by people with lived experience of homelessness and rough sleeping to help entrenched rough sleepers off the streets by supporting and rehousing them. Volunteers and workers build trusting relationships to connect with rough sleepers and help turn their lives around.
“We are all over the moon and can’t wait to attend the ceremony to find out if we’ve won! I’m really grateful and humbled for us to be nominated,” says Louise Simonsen, Service Manager for Street Buddies in Westminster.
She added: “It’s such an honour to be nominated by a couple of organisations including Church Housing Trust who fundraise to support Street Buddies, and Westminster Council’s Westminster Rough Sleeping Team.
“I’m really proud of all my team, the volunteers give up their time for free and go out in all weathers to speak to rough sleepers. They do it to give something back, which also helps build their confidence and is part of their recovery.
“This is a massive boost to the team as it’s great to be recognised for all their hard work. Working with rough sleepers is a long process in order to build a relationship of trust with them. An example of this is when we helped someone who had slept rough for 25 years, and through support and consistently meeting with them over a long period of time, they finally made the transition in to accommodation and they’ve been there eight months now.”
More details about Street Buddies can be found here.