“We hold people up” – Recovery Worker at No.5 on how the centre provides a safety net to some of Leicester’s most vulnerable people

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Stories from No 5 KENNY

No.5 makes a “huge” difference to people who are homeless, and recovery can start with a shower or help with filling out a form.

That’s according to one of No.5’s Recovery Workers, Kenny, who said building a rapport with those who use the centre is key.

No.5 provides homeless people with housing advice, activities, a coffee bar and access to washing facilities, phones and the internet. It is also a safe place for street drinkers to access support and engage with partner services. 

Kenny, who has worked in this sector for 23 years, started at the former Anchor Centre as a volunteer. After being made redundant, Kenny was offered sessional work before being made a full-time member of staff.

“I started just by helping people fill out forms, getting them registered with a doctors’ surgery and helping them with general life skills,” Kenny said.

“The difference No.5 can make is huge – we hold people up and we’re a safety net. A lot of the people who come here struggle with reading or writing, so something like filling out a form is a big deal. 

“It’s about helping them through pathways, whether that’s housing, medical help or social services. 

“For those with a problem, this is somewhere to come for help.”

Kenny went on to say: “I do really enjoy my job. It can be challenging but it’s rewarding knowing you have helped someone along the line.”

For Kenny, that has included seeing a number of people arrive at No.5 with a substance addiction who have gone on to rehab, employment and a more stable life.

He said changing attitudes to mental health have led to better support for services such as No.5, saying: “For previous generations, there was this idea of being tough, pulling up your boots and getting on with it. In today’s society, it’s about helping people instead of them struggling through, and it’s a better way.”

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