St Martin in the Fields

St Martin in the Fields is a church based charity in central London. Each year it raises money to support homeless people via the Radio 4 Christmas Appeal (previously known as The Vicars Relief Fund). This money is then offered to homeless people in the form of small grants which can help towards bonds/rent in advance, paying off rent arrears, and purchasing essential white goods.

Target Housing has successfully bid to be one of 13 regional partner organisations across the country that forms the St Martin in the Fields Frontline Network.

The network aims to raise awareness of the issues of homelessness and be active in the prevention of homelessness by hosting events, networking with other charitable agencies in our area, attending partnership conferences and meetings in London, contributing to national Facebook and Twitter media outlets for the partnership and collecting testimony from grant recipients that will contribute to the Christmas appeal.

For more information about the network please email our partnership officer Beki Tomlinson at becky.tomlinson@targetsheffield.org.uk or visit the Frontline Network Website.

Case study

Richard was referred to Target Housing by Rotherham Council.  He suffered from depression, anxiety, stress related psychosis and tinnitus.  As a result of this he had constant ringing in his ears and heard voices.  Around 5 years ago, Richard suffered a nervous breakdown caused by the stress of living with these conditions.  He was in denial at the time and refused any help that was offered to him.  He began to isolate himself, didn’t go out and didn’t see any of his family.  He turned to heroin as a coping mechanism, which resulted in him suffering from DVT in his legs.  Richard is now engaging with drug services and is on a methadone prescription.  He hasn’t used heroin for over 2 years.

Around 1 year ago, Richard began playing his music and TV loudly, to drown out the noise and voices he was hearing constantly. However, this resulted in complaints being made by his neighbours and an antisocial behaviour (ASB) investigation.  Richard was threatened with eviction because of this.

Richard has now started accepting support and is working with several services. He has been supported to get help with his mental health and is now taking antidepressants.  He is also being supported to address issues with his property that have built up over the years.

Richard was awarded a St Martins grant for carpets to be put down in his living room, the room in which he spent the most time, and where his TV etc. were. This helped with reducing the noise levels heard by his neighbours.  He also invested in some headphones, which he said helped with the ringing in his ears and voices.  The ASB investigation was closed and there is no longer a risk of eviction.