Since November 2020, Home-Start Sutton has been supporting families with children under five years old living in temporary or emergency accommodation at the Pod at the Dolphin – a warm, welcoming space for families to visit with their children.
With more and more families struggling with the cost-of-living crisis, temporary homelessness is becoming more of an issue with the number of people living in temporary accommodation rising across London.
Living in temporary accommodation can be stressful especially for parents with young children. In Sutton, the Pod offers these families a lifeline and more than 100 families have been supported to date.
It is a warm, welcoming space for families to visit with their children. Parents can relax with a cuppa and talk to other parents who are living in similar situations, while their children can make friends and play in a safe environment.
There is a lot of advice available at the Pod and there are volunteers on hand to help families. They can offer advice and support on, for example:
- Income and benefits
- Financial advice and guidance
- Children’s health advice from the Health Visiting team
- Health and wellbeing
- Domestic abuse services
- Social prescribing to help combat isolation
- Link workers on hand to offer 1:1 support
There is also a private consultation room available if people need to speak to someone in confidence.
Daniel Ayeni, Chief Executive, Home-Start Sutton, said: “Living in temporary accommodation if you have young children is a real challenge and can be stressful. Often families don’t know the area, or where to access help and having a place you can come and meet other families, make new friends and get support is really important.”
“Children’s early years are vital and the more that we can do at Home-Start to reach out to families with young children and help them at a very challenging time the better.”Daniel Ayeni
Home-Start Sutton offers weekly drop-in sessions, every Friday morning from 10am to 12pm at the Pod:
The Pod at The Dolphin
316 High Street
Your guide to temporary accommodation
Moving into emergency or temporary accommodation can be a busy and stressful time. To help with the process, and to ensure that people can prioritise the most important tasks when they move, Sutton Council have developed a new booklet, Your guide to temporary accommodation.
Inside it, there is useful information about housing, life on a low income, getting help with your benefits, and looking after your family’s health and wellbeing. There are contact details for local organisations, whether you are living in Sutton or are currently accommodated outside of the borough.