Do you own a business or part of a business that regularly gives to charity?
I am reaching out to you with an opportunity for you to join the HealthBus Team to make a significant difference and help someone in need access healthcare that we take for granted.
You could be forgiven for thinking that my appeal was for people in a third world country. It is however, to help some of the estimated 100 plus vulnerable people who are homeless here on the streets of Bournemouth.
Life on the streets is not something they have chosen; often it is circumstantial, which has resulted in the loss of self-worth, self-care and self-protection. These circumstances can affect any one of us, a friend or a family member. Mental health issues, breakdown in relationships, loss of a job, lack of affordable housing or bereavement are just a few of the reasons that result in people being homeless on the streets of Bournemouth.
Homeless people are disengaged, on the margins of society, often seen by others as a nuisance, a threat or a blot on the image of the local community. Behind each homeless person is a back story that doesn’t often get heard.
A local GP, Doctor Maggie Kirk, recognised some of daily challenges faced by rough sleepers in Bournemouth and set up the HealthBus three years ago. As the project has grown other professionals from statutory and voluntary sector have come on board to help the rough sleeping and homeless community. The HealthBus Team is made up of GPs, Nurses, Liver Specialist Nurses, Mental Health Support workers and Drug and Alcohol Support workers as well as an Optician and Hairdresser. These professionals work collaboratively to help homeless people regain their dignity, self-respect, self-worth and independence.
The HealthBus gained charitable status in December 2019.
The HealthBus is unique as it provides a mobile health facility that travels to Bournemouth where the homeless are located. We take our services directly to the patient. Our aim is to provide a service where a homeless person is supported and cared for and treated with
respect, dignity and empathy. We have found that this approach leads to the rough sleeper engaging with other services which we are uniquely positioned to connect them to and often results in people coming off the streets. By meeting people at their point of need, the HealthBus Team are able to seize the moment and signpost the patient to other support agencies that will encourage and support that person on their journey back into mainstream society.
It doesn’t matter if we are rich or poor; without our health every area of our lives is affected. Good health enables us to survive and have choices.
The HealthBus is not funded by the NHS, it is self-funded and relies on donations, grants and fundraising. The HealthBus is making a significant difference to people’s lives. Since starting, the HealthBus has helped over 1500 people, many of whom have been treated at the HealthBus multiple times by the GP, the Nursing Team and by support workers. At least 50% of those people seen have had referrals to accommodation and have been re-housed. The HealthBus really does save lives.
We invite you to join us to make a difference. Your financial support will be directly focused on helping the homeless by keeping the HealthBus on the road, providing safe and accessible healthcare.
Please take a look at the information below – every pound of support directly helps a person who is in need of basic healthcare. A regular donation will enable us to plan for the future – a one off donation would be just as welcome, but the most important thing is for us to partner with you – a local business – as this service benefits every resident and visitor to Bournemouth.
Should you require more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Together we can change people’s lives and help them take the first steps to a better and healthier future.
£110 would pay for a mental health nurse for one session or £11,520 for the year
Donating £50 would pay for the fuel and insurance for the HealthBus for one session or £5,200 for the year
Giving £30 could pay for a face-to-face appointment with a GP for one patient.
Just £5 pays for 10 rough sleepers to have tea, coffee and biscuits at our drop in each week or £520 for the year