The Freedom Day Centre is an open access day centre welcoming anybody over the age of 16 and living on the margins of society. Our clients include those suffering from homelessness, drugs/alcohol problems, poor mental health, poverty, social exclusion and offending behaviour. Our ethos is non judgemental and we offer complete acceptance regardless of a persons circumstance or situation.
General Support can encompass a wide variety of areas and this fits with our desire in offering a holistic service dealing with all aspects of an individual’s situation. Clients will be encouraged and supported to move forward in life but also accepted in themselves wherever they are.
One of the really valuable services we provide is to be a ‘care of’ postal address for the homeless. We are often asked to open post and read it for clients. This can be because of illiteracy or fear. Often there are forms or documents needing completion which we then help clients fill in. We offer a diary service where appointments are recorded and people are reminded to attend. These range from court appearances to doctors appointments of meetings with key workers.
We offer a wide range of support including:
- Housing – Provision of landlords’ lists, use of telephone, signposting and referrals for deposit funds, referrals to supported housing projects, completion of application forms, liaison with local authority Housing Advice Centre, liaison with other voluntary organisations.
- Finance – Referrals to CAP, CAB, Devon Pound or in house help with budgeting.
- Drugs/Alcohol – Encouragement, support, signposting and referral to specialist agencies, harm reduction advice, liaison with statutory and voluntary sector agencies, brief intervention services.
- Benefits – Help with form filling, use of the telephone.
- Health – Liaising with a range of health care professionals, arranging a GP, or referring to a smoking cessation class are just a few examples.
- Mental health – Liaison with mental health services and providers, and providing ongoing support to mental health sufferers.
- Emotional wellbeing – Befriending, social interaction and listening are just examples of how clients can be supported emotionally
Often people on the margins of society feel that they have no voice, and staff at the Freedom Centre will help speak for them in an advocacy role. This can involve finding a GP, helping with benefits or simply breaking through the red tape and bureaucracy faced by so many people.