Nurturing wellbeing with client activities

Activities play a crucial role for clients here at Julian House – providing them with a sense of purpose, community and empowerment. Our team have put together a diverse portfolio of opportunities to get involved in, including social events and skill-building sessions to educational workshops and volunteering.  

“Our activities not only alleviate boredom but also promote social interaction and personal growth amongst individuals experiencing homelessness.” – Marzia Canu, Activities Team Leader at our Manvers Street Hostel. 

Nurturing wellbeing with client activitiesWorking hand-in-hand with our local community provides fantastic opportunities for our clients, including a weekly volunteering opportunity at Bath City Farm. They can join in with gardening, animal care or through their ‘Roots to Work’ programme clients can be gently eased back into employment. If farming isn’t a client’s cup of tea, then they can get stuck into other fun activities – such as football training with Bath City FC! 

After the experiences many of our clients have faced, any day filled with laughter and joy is a real gift. During a recent bowling trip, it was lovely to see how something many take for granted was so vital to our clients.

“I haven’t smiled like this for 2 years,” said a client.

Nurturing wellbeing with client activities

Clients are always encouraged to share their stories and chat – something which can be easier to do when engaged in an activity. The weekly cooking and craft sessions offer a relaxing space to communicate and open up, all whilst learning new recipes and crafting skills. This sense of calm and relaxation is fostered with meditation classes, sound healing workshops and even the recent addition of a shamanic healer, who focuses on improving self-esteem, anxiety and PTSD. 

Nurturing wellbeing with client activitiesWe recently took our clients to Farm in Box, where they learned how to chop wood and were even present for the birth of three lambs! This day was just one of many unforgettable, positive experiences that our clients can look back on with glee.  

Every Tuesday we run a Day Centre at the Salvation Army. Here, clients can have a warm breakfast, support from the outreach team and get involved in arts and crafts. It is a great way to relax, be creative and receive advice that helps our clients conquer the day. 

Marzia adds, “The feedback from clients is always positive and they are very thankful to have a space indoors where they can just relax for few hours. I have also organised for local barber Eddie to come once a month to give free haircuts to our clients. Eddie is a lovely guy who gives homeless people free haircuts around the country” 

Health and wellbeing are crucial to our clients’ development at Julian House, and the activities team have arranged vaccinations to take place twice a month. Alongside this, we have secured funding to provide dentistry until 2025, a free service for all Julian House clients, who have been fantastic at keeping up their appointments and booking new ones. Here is some of their feedback: 

“I didn’t expect to gain trust by being seen at a dental practice, but I have.”  

“I can finally look at myself without having to look away. I have avoided looking into my reflection for more years than I can remember.” 

build a bikeThe Build-A-Bike Workshop is another great programme in which clients learn how to assemble bikes from scratch. Once complete, they can keep the bike too! This project helps people regain confidence and work towards reintegrating into society.

Marzia concludes, “All of these things put together are mentally and physically beneficial for our clients. They provide a break from reality, hope for the future and a chance to regain trust in humanity.”