St Stephen’s Close supported living service

ContactAndy Rowe, Locality Manager, Richmond Fellowship
Telephone01388 748 732
Address8a St Stephens Close, Willington, County Durham, DL15 0DQ

Three Rivers Housing Association and Richmond Fellowship, together with Wear Valley District Council and Durham County Council, have developed a supported living service (St Stephen’s Close) to help people step down from psychiatric hospital to independent living. The service is available for people who would benefit from our specialist mental health support and the level of support offered by a 24 hour staffed resource.

The service has eight self-contained flats built around a communal space, enabling people to develop the skills needed to move on to more independent living, with staff working individually with tenants to develop practical and emotional tools and skills to become and stay independent.

Staff can help with the practical elements of having a tenancy for someone who may have spent some time in other settings such as hospital, as well as the opportunity to develop skills and confidence in a community based resource.

The provision of four weeks of floating support to clients immediately after they move on provides vital continuity of support during transition. This helps to reduce the revolving door scenario where people relapse during stressful changes in circumstances and need more intensive support again.

When the service was opened in 2007/08 the running costs for St Stephen’s Close were £277,000, or on average £665 for each of its eight clients per week. Around £109 of this is paid for by rent from the clients or by housing benefits. This gives a net cost of £556 per client per week. This equated to a saving in that year of 39 per cent or around £22,000 per client per year across the wider health and social care system.

This case study was originally included in the following report:

Health and housing: worlds apart?Health and housing: worlds apart?
This report by the National Housing Federation explores the link between housing and health and how the two sectors work together. Read more »