Hope Centre and the Public Health Team join forces to deliver vital health and wellbeing day

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The Northampton Hope Centre, in collaboration with the Public Health Team at West Northamptonshire Council, organised a successful Health and Wellbeing Day, benefiting over 45 individuals within the local community.

This initiative aimed to provide crucial public health services to the homeless community, with a focus on preventive healthcare measures. The Public Health Team offered a range of essential services, including COVID and flu vaccinations, sexual health consultations, drug and alcohol support, HEP-C testing, stop smoking services, smear testing, and access to oral and optical care.

Public health services play a pivotal role in enhancing the well-being of individuals and communities by preventing diseases and injuries, detecting health issues early, and responding promptly to avoid the development of severe illnesses.

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While public health may not always be at the forefront of our minds, it is crucial in maintaining a healthy society, and increased life expectancy. There are however, barriers to access these services to a number of people in the community.

The Public Health team at West Northants CouncilThe Public Health team at West Northants Council
The Public Health team at West Northants Council

Cllr Matt Golby, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health at West Northants Council explains; “People who are homeless unfortunately experience many barriers, particularly with accessing healthcare services.”

Joanne Pritchard, Head of Homelessness Services and Partnership at the Hope Centre, elaborates “Many of our service users have complex needs and find it difficult to make an appointment, while we can support them to do this, their lives are often very chaotic, and appointments get missed. Keeping track of days and times is just not their priority on the street, survival is. It is also common for rough sleepers to not have identification or other documents needed to access these essential services. Many also don’t carry important documents because of the risk of being robbed and documents being stolen.”

Alex Copeland, the CEO of Northampton Hope Centre, emphasized the importance of easy access to public health services, especially given the increasing numbers of individuals experiencing homelessness in Northampton.

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He stated, “With the numbers of individuals presenting themselves as homeless at Hope, now often into the 50’s and 60’s daily, it is crucial that we work together on initiatives like this to make access to public health services as easy as possible to the most in need.”


Cllr Matt Golby added “By coordinating a wide range of health services at this event, we hope to have made a positive difference to the health of many of Hope’s service users.” He continued to stress the importance of the event as the winter months approach and the increased risk of illness and infection in vulnerable communities.