A grand day out in London town
Recently, New Hope was incredibly grateful to receive a pair of tickets for a sold out concert which could be sold to raise money for the Community Home residents to enjoy a much needed day out in London. We were amazed by the response and managed to receive the full asking price within an hour of putting the advert online.
Along with a couple of members of staff, the residents headed straight for the South Bank, to take in some of the sights of London’s most recognisable waterfronts. With Parliament across the water and the London Eye clearly visible for most of the walk, the South Bank of the Thames is always a great place to spend some time and a good place to reminisce about times spent in the city growing up and throughout adult life.
“Spending time out and having fun is integral part of recovery at the Community Home. It's a great opportunity to have a much needed break from it all and really reflect on how far we have all come." – Annette, Community Home Manager
From the South Bank, the group headed to the Tate Modern, an amazing combination of the past and present, the old power plant repurposed and extended with modern and striking architecture. Residents saw some of the most famous works of Monet and Picasso along with the extensive displays of modern and classic sculpture.
From the Tate Modern, their journey led them onto Chinatown for the best kind of lunch – all-you-can-eat buffet! Plates were piled high (until the residents found out you could keep going back!) and then, a walk through Covent Garden with a brief stop to watch the entertainers on the way back to the tube.
Tube stations during busy periods of the day can be frenetic environments that need to be approached with care but sometimes accidents do happen and, during the return journey, an unfortunate commuter fell while travelling on one of the escalators. Although not seriously injured, it was the residents of the Community Home who were first to offer support and making sure they were safe.
“There is often a stigma attached to being homeless, the behaviours, the attitude, but what I saw that day was kindness, care and compassion for someone else in need. This is what the guys are like that we work with.” – Annette
All in all, it was a great day out for everyone, staff and residents, and one that will be remembered for a long time yet.
“It wasn’t my normal thing but that day I was so grateful, so happy. I got to Waterloo Bridge and I could see certain areas in the past where I had drunk, in the distance was St Paul’s and the London Eye. I talked to staff and was proud of what I had achieved.” – a Community Home resident