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We continue to work with the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) to provide an innovative solution to reduce pressure on hospital beds for people experiencing mental ill health. Following the success of a similar support model in Lambeth, Certitude was approached to pioneer a similar approach in Croydon. Many people who are ready to leave hospital, can get stuck waiting for their home or support package to be ready.

People can stay at The Orchards for up to three months after leaving hospital to ensure they continue their recovery that began in hospital. Our team are on hand to support with medication, increasing their independence and help with finding suitable accommodation.

Manager Isaiah Omowumi says:

“Many people we support have mental ill health which is related to other challenges such as homelessness or drug use, so it can be very difficult for people in these circumstances to move straight from hospital to living independently, without compromising their recovery. At the Orchard we are able to provide stability for people after they are discharged from hospital. This means we have time to ensure they are fully connected with their professional and community support networks and, if necessary, advocate for people to be allocated accommodation offering some level of supported living. This approach gives people the very best chance of moving forward towards fully independent living.”

The Orchard opened in three stages, the first being the Orchard Middle House which opened on 29 May 2020, the Orchard North House which opened on 29 March 2021 and the Orchard South House which became operational on 11 October 2021. As a result, we now support more than 30 people with each location having four three-bedroom flats.

The team are rightly proud of the success they have seen for people at the Orchard, which launched at the start of the pandemic. Despite the challenges everyone was facing, the team have successfully supported people to leave hospital, make progress in their lives and move on.