Royal Visit to Southampton

HRH The Princess Royal was in Southampton on Friday to officially open a care home of the Society of St James.

HRH met staff, residents and Board members and heard about the work of the charity.  She also cut a cake to celebrate the organisation’s 50th anniversary.

Trevor Pickup, the Chief Executive said “This visit has been a great encouragement to staff, who have worked incredibly hard over the last few years.  The words of encouragement from The Princess were really appreciated”.

The Society of St James provides specialist services for people with backgrounds of homelessness, substance misuse and mental health issues, and has projects in Southampton, Portsmouth and across Hampshire. The Charity was founded in 1972 when it ran a night shelter in Bernard Street, Southampton and later a soup run.  Over the 50 years it has grown significantly and now houses over 500 people and provides support to an additional 1000 people, in a range of services.

The visit was to open Linden House which is used for specialist support as explained  “Our unique CQC registered Care Homes in Southampton offer respite or a home for 38 older people who have care needs exacerbated by long histories of drinking. Our residents struggle to find a place in mainstream care settings because they present with other issues including mental health & complex safeguarding issues.  The Society of St James uses its experience of working with the homeless, substance abuse & mental health to safely manage these issues in a dignified, compassionate & empathetic  care setting.”

“Residents at our existing Care Homes have care needs due to alcohol-related brain damage and these include mental health and cognitive conditions such as Wernicke Korsakoff syndrome, a form of dementia typified by memory beyond the very short term. Several of our current residents are subject to deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) and need to be accompanied whenever in the community.  Whilst the care home is based in Southampton we have received referrals from the wider Hampshire area, Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. ”

More details of the care homes are here