The BHF began meeting regularly again at the start of 2023 and we have had 4 meeting so far this year. I have been so encouraged at the numbers that have attended. At the last meeting in July Lee Ball, national lead on addiction for the Salvation Army spoke on Harm minimisation which was so helpful, especially in light of the recent tragic deaths related to a bad batch of heroin in the city. Bristol Drugs Project and St. Mungo’s provided local knowledge that helped us know how to practically respond.
The most significant aspect of the forum has been the connections made between those who attend. This has led to many visits to see what others are doing and I know this has enabled better communication and connections between agencies and individuals. Ultimately the exciting thing is this will benefit those who are homeless or threatened with homelessness to get better support in our city!
In fact during the Autumn, the forum is gathering information about the specialist ‘forums’ that operate in the city. At the beginning of September we will send out a short questionnaire to all on the mailing list asking a couple of questions. The outcome from this mapping exercise is to help link people to relevant specialist groups, show if there is unnecessary duplication as well as highlighting if there are gaps.
Our BHF meetings in Autumn 2023 are on 21st September and 16th November. If you would like to be added to the mailing list and receive regular information about the forum meetings and other relevant information please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bristol Homeless Forum