News

New community partnership helps the homeless in Scunthorpe

A Scunthorpe GP surgery is going the extra mile in a bid to lend a hand to the town centre’s homeless.

The Birches Medical Practice, based at The Ironstone Centre in West Street, has started to open its shower facilities between 10am until 12pm, Monday to Friday.

The practice is working closely with nearby charity Crosby Community Association, where before they are freshened up, the homeless can go for a hot drink, slice of cake and pick up new clothes to change into.

Not only do users benefit from a wash, they are also given shower gel to use, a clean towel, toothbrush and a new pair of socks to keep.

Darryl Southern, Practice Manager at The Birches Medical Practice, said: “We are of course aware there are quite a large number of people living homeless in Scunthorpe and we wanted to give them a little relief.

“It isn’t much but we thought those most deprived would really appreciate a hot shower, new pair of socks and basically just a little bit of comfort in their lives – especially as we enter the winter period when times can be even more difficult for them.

“We’ve been doing it a couple of weeks and only a small number have attended so far. But of course we’re hoping word gets out and we can offer more comfort to more people. The feedback we have had so far has been incredibly positive and that’s nice to hear.”

New users who are not registered with a doctor are then encouraged to do so at The Birches Medical Practice – giving them somewhere nearby to seek medical advice if needed.

Geoff Day, Director of Primary Care at North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This is heart-warming news – especially as we move into the cold winter period.

“To see a practice go above and beyond to help those less fortunate than others is great to see and as a CCG we would thank The Birches Medical Practice for thinking outside the box and taking this on.”

Notes to editors

For further information, please contact North Lincolnshire CCG Communications Manager Amy Byard on 01652 251 047 or amy.byard@nhs.net.

Picture caption 1: Darryl Southern, of The Birches Medical Practice, with Adam Doncaster and colleagues, of Crosby Community Centre

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