In the face of austerity measures, St John’s has stepped up to tackle the major social issues exacerbated by these measures. While remaining true to its origins of providing care and support to older people via its almshouse provision, St John’s is also now targeting the younger generation who face their own set of issues.
With its long-established reputation, St John’s has built valuable partnerships with local organisations who are providing critical front-line services. The charity believes that the greatest impact comes from working in collaboration with others, not in isolation.
Our day-to-day work comprises the management of our properties, maintaining our almshouse apartments and gardens; providing support and care to almshouse residents; running an extensive community outreach service and providing financial and practical support to those in need.
Our community outreach service was established in 2015 to target isolation and loneliness amongst the older population. Our flagship activity hub was so successful that St John’s has now rolled the model out to other hubs across Bath and North East Somerset. A recent survey commissioned by St John’s showed that 85% of attendees felt less isolated, 96% stated that their wellbeing had improved and 96% gained new skills.
St John’s is currently exploring how it can assist with the shortage of affordable housing and other specialist accommodation, to create safe spaces for vulnerable adults and to support the increasing number of people who are working, but unable to lift themselves out of poverty.
St John’s Funding Support Programme has increased the yearly sum awarded to smaller charities and organisations from £1.4million to £2.1million. These organisations approach St John’s on behalf of individuals who have reached a crisis point in their lives. This need has increased as a direct result of local authority cutbacks in the region, house prices being significantly out of reach for most people and the five-week wait for Universal Credit.
St John’s Living Independently Service means people get to live in their own homes, safe in the knowledge there is, if needed, support from neighbours, community and staff. Additionally, support staff provide 24-hour cover, seven days a week.
In addition to its alms houses, St John’s owns several residential properties in and around Bath. These are rented on the open market with many tenants specifically choosing to rent from St John’s, knowing that their rental fees are then reinvested to help support activities and projects in the wider community.