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New drop-in initiative for the 'socially excluded'.

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Bromford Support, which provides housing related support to the Warwickshire community, has been granted extra funding to launch a new initiative providing a drop-in service to those facing social exclusion.

The Stratford Link project, which runs from the Buzz Café in Henley Street, will now open it’s doors on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 10am, allowing local residents to drop in and get advice & support on a variety of issues.

The service is designed to help those facing what is called ‘social exclusion’, which could include homelessness, alcohol dependency, substance misuse and financial difficulty. Bromford Support can now extend the project across multiple days thanks to funding from Stratford District Council, Warwickshire Police Community Safety Partnership and the Stratford Town Trust.

Free to attend with breakfast available to customers who use the project, the Bromford Support team will also be joined by representatives from the Housing Advice Team of Stratford-upon-Avon Council, the Stratford substance misuse service and the local recovery partnership. There are also laptops available for use plus other opportunities such as song writing and gardening courses.

The service can also refer customers for further support if they are facing the threat of eviction or need more long-term assistance.

With more than 10 people helped in each session, Bromford Support's John Wilde believes the project is especially needed in the Stratford area. “Street drinking was at a high level in the town, with local people becoming involved in anti-social behavior. This is when the local police team got in touch, as they believed a drop-in may help reduce the problem”.

“At the Stratford Link project, we’re not focused on long-term support; in fact we aim to prevent people needing to use long term support packages. We try to help those who are hard to engage, who may be struggling, and point them in the right direction before it’s too late. “

In the future, Bromford hope to extend the project across more mornings, as well as getting the involvement of local housing associations to support their customers.