Garden House Peterborough
Light Project Peterborough started its journey of helping people in Peterborough in 2009. One of its main projects is the Garden House, a refuge for rough sleepers where they can find information and advice, and access a wide range of support services in areas including addiction, counselling, employment, health and many others.
Since it opened in October 2018, the Garden House has welcomed a small number of military veterans. Early on the Garden House support team recognised that some veterans who are rough sleeping are also dealing with complex issues such as PTSD. With a view to providing greater support to homeless veterans, the Garden House partnered with the Community Covenant Development Project, a programme that strengthens councils’ efforts to support the armed forces community.
Now the Garden House works closely with Peterborough City Council’s Rough Sleeper Outreach team to provide support for military veterans. Garden House project officers and volunteers have attended Armed Forces Covenant events for local authorities, and received training from the Armed Forces Covenant Development Officer for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
The Garden House’s computer system identifies whether a guest has a military background, so that support can be tailored to their needs; and information is provided in the form of brochures on the work of local military organisations. Veterans in need of help are connected directly with specialist military personnel who are able to use the Garden House to talk to them in person, including through the NHS Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service.
This support service for veterans in housing need will continue to grow as the Garden House project develops. Visit the website for more information.