In November 2011, The Highfield Company provided the funds for a 17 seater minibus for the Southampton based charity Society of St James. The Society of St James (SSJ) is Southampton’s largest homelessness charity, supporting over 1000 people at any one time. The people that we support often have a diversity of complex issues, including homelessness, addictions, and mental health problems.
SSJ runs a sports club open to all their clients that has a high level of uptake and has seen some very positive health related results. Until recently, SSJ has had to hire transport to enable the service users to attend these activities and this reduced the number of activities that SSJ can deliver (due to the transportation costs), and therefore the number of service users that SSJ can offer sports to. Purchasing a Minibus for SSJ has reduced these costs and enabled SSJ to take more of their service users to more activities. With the Minibus, SSJ now aim to offer their service users a different activity to do at least three times per week meaning 42 service users per week will be able to access sport.
Through the SSJ partnership with the Southampton Saints Football Club Foundation, not only do SSJ engage their service users in sport but they also work with them to look at diet, sexual health, substance misuse and life style in order to get service users thinking about their health.
The sports club will be able to consistently offer at least three sports sessions per week, with up to 14 people per day taking part. Alongside this SSJ are also able to offer other activities on the non sport days. This will give our service users that are not interested in sport the opportunity to explore alternatives (such as an art gallery or museum) to help them reduce their drug/alcohol intake and realise that they are able to do so.
You can read more about Society of St James by clicking here
The Highfield Company's funding included the initial cost of a minibus, as well as driver training, insurance, tax and maintenance costs for two years.
Our support of SSJ continues and in Novermber 2015, a team from The Highfield Company took part in a sponsored event to sleep rough. The Highfield Team raised over £3,000 and the event in total raised £8,000