MP visits Wellbeing Centre to see vital work of care service

Amber Rudd MP with Southdown CEO Neil Blanchard, a Southdown client and Lynne Thomas
Amber Rudd MP with Southdown CEO Neil Blanchard, a Southdown client and Lynne Thomas

Amber Rudd MP visited a housing, care and support provider to find out about services available for vulnerable people in Hastings and the surrounding areas.

Southdown, which provides a range of support services for people at risk of homelessness and living with mental health challenges in the area, hosted the visit at their Wellbeing Centre at Carisbrooke House in St Leonards.

During the visit, the MP was introduced to people who access Southdown services, who shared experiences of challenges they have faced and how support has helped them.

Southdown also highlighted a number of new innovative mental health services, which provide improved support for people while also reducing pressure on local GP and A&E services.

These services include the ‘Staying Well Space’, provided at Carisbrooke House, which offers evening and weekend support to help people manage a deterioration of their mental health and prevent hospitalisation or self-harm. And, ‘Community Connectors’, a service where staff are co-located within GP surgeries to provide on the spot advice, guidance and support.

Ms Rudd, the MP for Hastings and Rye, said: “I was so pleased to be invited to Southdown’s Mental Health Wellbeing Centre and to learn of the many supportive ways in which this centre supports its clients, including with temporary accommodation, creative art, walking groups and an allotment. There is a great need for such invaluable services and it was good to see for myself the excellent support that exists within our town.”

Neil Blanchard, chief executive of Southdown, added: “Every day we meet people struggling to make ends meet... There are many more people that need support though. Sharing what we do and enabling our clients’ experiences to be heard by local MPs and councillors, we hope, goes some way to protecting and securing funding for future services.”

Visit www.southdown.org or call 01323 405 334.