Partnerships are an integral part of the work here at COTS. With your support we have been able to develop some fantastic partnerships with some incredible organisations, including the NHS, Shelter, Pendle Hospice, Safenet, social prescribers, Inspire, and many more.
Through working with partners we are able to provide access to a variety of services that people would not otherwise be able to, or want to, access. Services like healthcare, mental health, and housing. Nicola Leverett, Partnerships Manager at Church on the Street, explains “people feel comfortable accessing services here at COTS rather than through the normal means because they feel safe here, they chat with friends over a brew and then access the services they need”.
“As I live on the street I developed trench foot and could hardly walk, after being treated I am walking pain free again”.”
Recently we opened a Podiatry and Wound care clinic in partnership with the NHS. People who live in active addiction can develop deep wounds on their arms/ legs which then get infected. Having a free drop in clinic where no appointment is needed really helps as it fits around a person’s complex and often chaotic lifestyle. While seeing a patient the NHS team are able to discover undiagnosed illnesses, like diabetes, and then provide treatment or a referral. One patient expressed his joy after being treated in the podiatry clinic, “as I live on the street I developed trench foot and could hardly walk, after being treated I am walking pain free again”.
One really important benefit of working with partners is the consistency of the professionals who run the clinics. We have the same teams coming every week. This has been critical in helping one lady who has a very complex and severe mental health diagnosis. Nicola explains that “through having a weekly check in with the same person from the NHS mental health team keeps Jane (not her name) out of hospital as she has been a regular at A&E”. The NHS team have also explained the importance of meeting the same professional person each week as it builds trust between the patient and the professional.
“Individuals, with complex housing situations, are being housed due to the work that Shelter are doing at COTS.”
Shelter has also been a real blessing to the people who come to COTS. For a person needing help and support with housing to have access to a professional who has the legal knowledge around housing and can be an advocate is vital. Individuals, with complex housing situations, are being housed due to the work that Shelter are doing at COTS.
We are currently working on developing more partnerships, specifically with organisations who provide various forms of education. Lancashire Adult Learning have just started to provide accessible and free courses and we are in discussion about developing a maths GCSE. Having a GCSE in maths can open up so many opportunities for a person, including applying for university. A team of Art Students from Bolton university has developed an art project, which will be at COTS starting from the 10th November every Friday. Art and the act of being creative is really important in helping a person improve their wellbeing and mental health.
Thank you to all of our partners who provide invaluable services and opportunities to the COTS community. We would also like to thank all of our supporters who enable us to do the work we are doing. Thank you.
Heavenly Father, Almighty God. We thank you for all the amazing partners we have join us at COTS. We pray for your blessing upon the work of their hands, ears, eyes and the words they speak. Amen