Partnership in Action
The following examples show the WHP in action.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the WHP’s Core Group have been central to the partnership’s response.
Examples of the response actions include the suspension of open-access services by The Passage, Connection at St Martin’s and West London Mission. Such services were not suitable for social distancing and were utilising capacity that was needed to provide management and support in hotels accommodating people who were rough sleeping during the pandemic.
The Passage and Connection at St Martin’s worked together to provide food to hotels from the kitchen at The Passage, a huge effort representing 10,000s of meals. The Core Group has held regular meetings to ensure rapid progress in rehousing people in hotels, and provided expert feedback and support to senior council officials about the current rough sleeping situation and plans for ‘move on’ from hotels.
West London Mission and development of WLM Seymour Place
West London Mission has been undergoing a service transformation for the next phase in its long history of supporting people facing homelessness in Westminster.
The organisation has embraced partnership principles in this transformation, helping to drive the WHP forward in its recent refresh and rebrand. At the heart of the transformation is ensuring that the space at Seymour Place is a place of partnership – for example, where different organisations use the space to deliver services.
Through its transformation, so far WLM has increased shelter spaces provided in Winter 2019/20 and helped to ensure that this resource was more effectively targeted at those people most in need of basic accommodation through closer links with outreach teams.
Day Centre Development Project
The Day Centre Development Project was a collaboration between the three largest day centres in Westminster – the Connection at St Martin’s, The Passage and West London Mission.
The project worked to ensure that their systems complement each other and that the clients receive the most effective means of support. This work included joint training, creating lasting links between staff from different organisations.
The day services are now working together, addressing short-term needs, but also reflecting on the longer term and how to build on the experience of the pandemic to create a more effective ecosystem of day services in Westminster.