Here you’ll find a selection of news and stories reflecting the activities and events happening within SJOG.
"I saw myself in that container"
The death last month of 39 Vietnamese people in a truck that was trafficking them into the UK had particular resonance within SJOG. Our services for victims of trafficking and modern day slavery across the country include a specific service in the north east for Vietnamese people. All but one currently living in the house arrived here in the UK in a similar way – in a container lorry.
Some of the people in the service wanted to share their stories and working with our partners at the Salvation Army we’ve enabled this to happened.
Mr Nam (not his real name) told his story to journalist, Zoe Conway, which appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme on 5 November. His story can be heard at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0009zbd (starting at 2.39 and finishing at 2.46). Available until 3 December 2019.
Mr Nam, a young man in his early 20s, desperate for money, turned to a gang for help. The result was a harrowing journey in the confines of a box that took him from Vietnam to the Netherlands where he was put to work on a cannabis farm. After a year, he was then taken by the gang, transported once more in a container, to the UK, again having to work on cannabis farm, working sometimes more than 18 hours a day. He eventually escaped and was cared for by the Salvation Army and is now supported by SJOG where he is beginning to rebuild his life.
Halloween Haunts at SJOG
Pictures speak louder than words and definitely so at Halloween. Thankfully there was no competition as to the scariest outfit, spookiest decorations and spectacular pumpkins as there were too many to choose from, but without doubt, many of the people we support and who work for SJOG had a great time making Halloween special.
SJOG Marks Anti-Slavery Day - 18 October
On Anti- Slavery Day – 18 October, representatives of SJOG were invited to increase awareness in one of the local HSBC branches. Miguel Neves, National Lead for Homelessness and Modern Day Slavery and Pawel Zabielski, Service Manager – Olallo House, had the opportunity to speak about modern day slavery, SJOG’s modern day slavery and homelessness services and the legacy of Saint John of God with the staff and the bank’s customers. Why HSBC? Prior to HSBC’s Survivors’ Champions Scheme, the process to open bank accounts by people who had been trafficked was almost impossible, especially without ID. Even with ID and supporting letters, some banks were still refusing the accounts.
A guest we supported in our safe houses, was one of the very first HSBC customer taking part in the piloting programme. We had tried for many months to support this person to open a bank account to enable him to receive income from the Job Centre. When HSBC started the pilot and we approached them, there was a lot of kindness and openness from the staff. The process had some challenges and barriers but there was a lot of willingness from the HSBC staff to overcome any issues. One day the person returned to hostel with a huge smile on their face and said “Finally! We did it! We opened the bank account.”
Since HSBC has piloted the survivors accounts, many of our guests have been opening accounts with them, with little if any issues, and with a great cooperation between HSBC Champions and SJOG staff. This had a huge impact on our guests’ recoveries. Even, if some do not have any income, they are happy that they have a bank account as a member of our modern society.
HSBC has also reviewed and rewrite their policies to include the individuals with NFA (No Fix Abode)
HSBC is the champion not only providing the services to the survivors but also to an underserved population. Pawel Zabielski, Service Manager, Olallo House - SJOG
SJOG Nurse Nominated for Lifetime Achievement in Care Award
Rose Hayes, a registered nurse at Henry Nihill House has been selected for the final for the Lifetime Achievement in Care category in the National Care Awards 2019. Rose has been a nurse for over 50 years and at Henry Nihill House for 34 years.
Commendations about Rose have been numerous and much deserved, and can be best summed up by the Rt. Revd. Dame Mary Therese Zelent, Mother Abbess of the Community of St Mary at the Cross: “As a colleague working alongside us, we have great admiration and respect for Rose, for her knowledge and professional skills, and her calming manner, and absolute loyalty. To this day Rose is dedicated and committed in her care of our residents to enhance the quality of their lives, a good friend and loyal colleague.”
Henry Nihill House is a registered nursing home for older people which SJOG manages on behalf of the Community of St Mary of the Cross.
This isn’t the first time Rose has been recognised for her achievements – in 2013 the London Borough of Barnet presented Rose with an Excellent Care Award, in appreciation of her dedication and professionalism.
All finalists will meet with two independent judges for each category on 11th October at the Awards’ Judging Day at the Hilton London Metropole. And winners will be presented with their trophies at the high profile Gala Night held on Friday 29th November at the Hilton London Metropole attended by over 700 guests. Well done Rose and good luck on the 11th.
Recognising those who Go the Extra Mile
There are lots of occasions when we see our colleagues go that extra mile for the people we support and we wanted a way to acknowledge this and to say thank you. In September at our staff conference we made our first GEM awards. The first of these went to Bernie Concadoro. Bernie works at SJOG’s Resource Centre in Enfield, which provides a range of day services within the centre itself and out in the community that enable people we support to enjoy activities and leisure outings they enjoy. Bernie was nominated for the award by Laurence Lévy, Operations Manager for “not just going the extra mile, but for going the extra marathon and for her outstanding and longstanding commitment to the service, for doing all she does without the need to be asked and her passion to make sure the service we give to the people we support is the best it can be.” It was a truly well-deserved award and received most humbly by Bernie who acknowledged that, ‘she was not alone’ in giving a whole-hearted commitment to the service.
The Big Idea
Over 100 colleagues from across SJOG came together to work on a series of Big Ideas.
The gathering was led by Dr Jamie Mackrill, SJOG’s Director of Opportunities and Kate Ainscough from Freestyle Innovation. The theme of the day was Bigger, Bolder, Brighter and set the challenge to 12 groups to find ways that SJOG could be of more use to more people by being cleverer about the way we currently deliver services, or through new bold initiatives.
Jamie said that, “Lots of great ideas were generated on the day and we’ll be working over the coming weeks to develop these ideas through to implementation.”
But the last word has to go to Kate who said on twitter @AinscoughKate, “So I laughed and I cried today. Thank you @Jamiemackrill1 @paulbottsjogfor having me. Your team and their work is amazing. L.O.V.E.D.”
Enjoying a new activity
When the people who we support in our service in Coulby Newham put on their ‘ideas board’ that they wanted to go swimming recently, SJOG support team, together with the staff from the local leisure centre, made it happen. This required some forward planning to accommodate Alan’s, Emma’s and David’s needs but it was well worth it. They had an amazing time and have been again several times since. Support teams in our residential and supported living services are continually encouraging people to come up with ideas that could improve their lives and make them happy. These ideas are put on an ‘ideas board’ in each service, and wherever possible, we like to make it happen for people.
Reflecting on SJOG
Nine months have passed since the appointment of an entirely new executive team at SJOG. During this time the charity has enjoyed a period of growth and renewal. “We’ve refocused, rebranded, and restructured the organisation. We have a good plan and good people delivering on it.” Paul Bott, Chief Executive.
Recruitment of the team was done with the help of UNW’s Strategic Talent service. Peter Neal and Laura Dean from UNW visited the SJOG’s offices in Darlington recently to reflect on the recruitment process and the success of the team.
Click here to view UNW’s news article: https://www.unw.co.uk/news/sjog-recruitment-unw/
Photo shows: left to right (back): Peter Neal - UNW, Lisa Alcorn - Chief Operating Officer, Paul Bott – Chief Executive, (front): Leanne Welford -Chief Finance Officer, Laura Dean - UNW
SJOG welcomes new trustees to its board
SJOG is pleased to welcome three new trustees to its board: Lesley Selfe brings a wealth of experience from a health background being a former director of nursing at NHS Direct and currently a special advisor to the Care Quality Commission; Paul Forster-Jones comes with a background of working at senior levels of multi-million pound organisations in pharma and private equity-backed organisations; and Emma Gibbons is currently the deputy director of finance and commercial with Public Health England. We are very much looking forward to working with them and having the extra breadth of skills and knowledge on our board.
(Photo left to right: Emma Gibbons, Lesley Selfe and Paul Forster-Jones)
Princess Eugenie hears stories of modern day slavery
Princess Eugenie invited four people supported by SJOG to Buckingham Palace so that they could share their experiences of being subject to modern day slavery. Each spoke with great courage and sincerity about their experience of modern day slavery to an audience that listened in silence.
Also present for a wide ranging discussion were representatives from SJOG, the Salvation Army, Medaille Trust, the US Ambassador-at-large for combatting Trafficking in Persons, and Julia de Boinville; with whom Princess Eugenie founded the Anti-Slavery Collective to fight modern slavery by supporting women and children.
SJOG has a growing reputation for delivering services to people who have been subject to modern day slavery with five new services established through a partnership with the Salvation Army.
21 million people wake up to a day of modern day slavery
Today, 30 July, is the UN World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. Human trafficking affects every region of the world and the UN states that 21 million people are waking up today as modern slaves.
The UN special rapporteur noted in her latest report that trafficked people can be women, girls, men and boys, However, whilst the number of men trafficked has significantly increased over the past 10 years, women and girls still make up 72% of those detected.
There has also been an increase in the percentage of child victims, which has more than doubled from 2004 to 2016, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Most are trafficked for sexual exploitation; victims are also trafficked for forced labour, recruitment as child soldiers and other forms of exploitation and abuse.
Traffickers prey on the vulnerable and people in poverty who are offered transport to jobs so that they can send money home, when they arrive there is work but they are told they must repay the travel costs, pay for their food, and board, and tools and clothes, and then there is no money left.
“The UN Sustainable Development Goals include clear targets to prevent abuse and exploitation, to eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls, and to eradicate forced labour and child labour. On this World Day against Trafficking in Persons, let us reaffirm our commitment to stop criminals from ruthlessly exploiting people for profit and help victims rebuild their lives.” UN Secretary General.
SJOG is working with the Salvation Army to provide safe houses around the country to support people who have been subject to modern day slavery to build a positive future.
Video produced by International Labour Organisation
New service in Birmingham supports victims of trafficking
SJOG’s work to reach more people who are victims of modern day slavery and trafficking continues with the opening of a new service in Birmingham. This service offers care and support to help the recovery of those who have suffered extreme psychological trauma as a result of modern day slavery or trafficking.
Saint John of God Week 17-23 June 2019
Saint John of God Week serves to celebrate our founder and lets us focus on how the values, Hospitality, Compassion, Justice, Respect and Trust, are present in our work today. Staff teams provided us with many great stories and photographs from within our services throughout the country to evidence how we live our values every day.
Lingfield Point welcomes charity's national HQ
SJOG has taken an office at Yarn at Lingfield Point, Darlington, where 26 of our staff will be based.
Lingfield Point was chosen because it offers a modern office space for the team here who support our services and the 570 staff we have nationwide. The flexibility offers the opportunity to grow as the charity continues to expand its work. The quality and location are fantastic and were all factors in deciding to base our head office here. The open plan layout means all departments can sit together, have conversations and swap ideas more readily.
The team at Lingfield Point could not have been more helpful in getting the offices ready for us to move in to and we look forward to this being a great home.
Eddie Humphries, Estate Manager at Lingfield Point, said, “We love to welcome new people to Lingfield Point but it’s clear from the start that SJOG will be very special. The work it does is fantastic and the charity is growing and thriving due to the tremendous need for its services. We will be proud to support SJOG in any way we can.”
*Lingfield Point is a 90 acre business park in the heart of Darlington, home to large companies as well as smaller businesses and start-ups with more than 3,000 workers based there.
SJOG continues to grow
SJOG’s work to reach more people who are victims of modern day slavery and trafficking continues to develop with the opening of a 5-bedded safe-house in Hounslow. This service will offer accommodation and therapeutic support to help the recovery of people, predominantly women, who are suffering from mental health issues and/or PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) as a result of homelessness, modern day slavery or trafficking.
New Grants and Trusts Fundraiser for SJOG
Emma Frew has over 20 years of experience at a senior level in the charitable sector working with community projects and social enterprises. Her MBA research undertaken in 2006 focussed on ‘The charitable sector in times of austerity’ and her subsequent work on developing robust services led her to be accepted as a Clore Social Leadership Fellow for the North of England in 2016.
Emma is joining SJOG to further our mission of providing the very best quality opportunities to the people we support. She will do this by working with the various teams across the organisation to provide support in accessing funding to provide services, equipment and new opportunities.
Easter Coffee Morning in West Yorkshire
“We are all so busy but this coffee morning held in our supported living offices in Bradford reminded me that it’s good to take time out and have some fun.” Michella Sunderland, Service Manager – Bradford Supported Living Services which supports people to live as independently as possible.
“I had fun and loads of chocolate cake, which was nice. You have to have a bit of fun!” Alex
“I enjoyed it and I played bingo.” Brendon
“It was good to get all the houses together.” Louise
Judging of the Easter Cake Competition rounded the morning off. It was difficult decision but the one made at Oakleigh with Alex and Brendon, got the winning vote by SJOG’s chief executive, Paul Bott.
SJOG - meeting more people in need
SJOG has been working tirelessly with other organisations to tackle the obnoxious crime that is modern-day slavery and trafficking. The charity’s efforts to broaden SJOG’s mission and reach the many more in need, are translated by the opening of another safe house in Middlesbrough in the North East of England, which can accommodate ten people. This complements the work of Olallo Services in London.
Olallo Services joined the UK National Referral Mechanism (a process which now is implemented by the 47 countries that signed the European Convention on Anti-Trafficking, which enables individuals after being rescued, to have a place to safely recover) in December 2015 by being one of the twelve sub-contractors of the Salvation Army. Since then, we have supported more than 120 individuals and have been very successful, in part due to the fact that we can connect with the Order’s services worldwide.
New Service for SJOG
New Service for SJOG
At the beginning of April we began a new partnership with the Salesian Sisters in Oxford and are delighted to welcome our new colleages as we support them in the management of the service at Elmthorpe Convent, which is home for the Community of the Salesian Sisters. Holistic care and support is to be provided to a number of sisters living in the convent who have varying levels of needs and support requirements.
The staff team of 15 members, including manager, team leaders, carers, housekeeper and cooks, will join the SJOG family, working together, upholding the values of the Salesian Sisters alongside those of SJOG. We warmly welcome them and look forward to working together, sharing expertise and knowledge, to provide a dedicated and bespoke service to the Salesian Sisters.
The Catholic Times features SJOG’s Olallo House
‘The safe house of hospitality where no one is turned away’, written by Bernadette Kehoe appeared in the weekend's edition (29 March) of The Catholic Times.
New Role at SJOG - Director of Opportunities
Jamie Mackrill has joined SJOG Hospitaller Services from Vista where he was Director of New Opportunities and most notably lead the development of the £2.4millon 'Work.Live.Leicestershire' programme funding by the National Lottery Community Fund and European Social Fund.
Jamie has a background in design and innovation with a particular focus in healthcare and has worked at Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art. Jamie will concentrate on service design and innovation at SJOG.
Jamie said, “There is great opportunity to be creative in how to do things going forward and I’m looking forward to working with our staff and the people who use our services to deliver innovative services that remain honest to the values and purpose of the charity."
SJOG is seeking new trustees
This is an exciting time for SJOG as it undergoes a period of transformation. With a new chief executive and leadership team, the charity is now ready to shape its future and develop new ways of delivering its purpose. Two new trustees are sought to strengthen the board, and to support and stretch the delivery of services and challenge the strategic development of the organisation. In particular, we are looking for individuals with experience in senior strategic leadership, with strong business/commercial acumen and/or expertise in quality and safeguarding within health and social care. For further information and how to apply, go to: www.peridotportal.co.uk/sjog
SJOG Staff Conference
On Monday 4 February 123 of our 540 staff took part in a staff conference which brought people together from each of the services across the country and from every department that works behind the scenes in ‘support services’.
This was the first opportunity that many staff had had to meet all the members of the new Executive Management Team, which included one member, Jamie Mackrill, who is yet to commence in his post as director of opportunities. (Jamie will officially join SJOG mid-March.)
Paul Bott, Chief Executive said, “I’m glad everyone made the effort to attend as not only did it give us the opportunity to talk to each other, but most importantly to listen and learn from each other. We’re one organisation and the opportunity to come together to share our successes and challenges is worth the time and money that it takes to bring everyone together.”
Throughout the day there were a number of workshops staff could choose from which included, Enabling Voices, Employee Wellbeing, Self-Compassion, Developing Opportunities, Care Management Systems and IT.
Feedback from the day was extremely positive, and as the photo shows received an overwhelming ‘thumbs-up’.
New Chief Operating Officer at SJOG
Lisa Alcorn has joined SJOG after working at a national level as director of operations. Lisa has over 25 years’ experience of working for charities and the private sector, specialising in autism spectrum conditions, learning disabilities and mental health services. Having been successful in receiving recognition of her contribution to the sector at the BILD International Leadership Awards in 2014 for Innovative Practice, Lisa also completed her Professional Doctorate in The National Integration of a Positive Behaviour Support Practice Framework for Autism Practitioners in 2017. Since then her doctoral framework was successful in achieving the National Learning Disabilities Award for PBS in 2018.
Lisa said, “I am really excited to join the charity at this time as I can see great potential both in terms of the people we support and the people I will have the pleasure to work alongside. I am keen to introduce contemporary practices that not only positively impact on people’s lives but also assists in shaping the charity for the future”.
SJOG has a new chief finance officer
Prior to this she was european finance director for a global consultancy and training organisation. Leanne is a MBA qualified chartered accountant with broad financial and management experience gained through working across a wide range of sectors. Leanne has special interest and experience in change management programmes working to strengthen and futureproof organisations.
Leanne said “I’m excited to be working in such a worthwhile organisation. The services and people have met so far have been inspiring and I am looking forward to working within a talented team to ensure the charity thrives and is able to continue to provide high quality caring services to our users.”
Celebrating Three 'Good' CQC Ratings
Congratulations to the three services we manage on behalf of other religious orders who achieved overall ratings of ‘good’ following recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections.These are: Villa Maria in Hythe (Marist Sisters), Avila House, Worthing (Sisters of Lady of Sion) and Henry Nihill House, Edgware (The Community of Saint Mary of the Cross)
These are all part of SJOG’s religious services working in partnership with other religious orders and congregations, which was founded to respond to the issues facing many religious orders today particular in relation to the implications of care standards legislation.
This work is underpinned by our commitment to work with each individual order or congregation to maintain the charism and founding ethos of that particular religious organisation.
Photos show the celebration at Henry Nihill House.
New Chief Executive: Paul Bott
Paul Bott has joined SJOG Hospitaller Services from Vista, the award winning sight loss charity, where he has been chief executive for the past 6 years. Paul was responsible for refocussing the charity and on delivering innovative growth. Paul was shortlisted for the national Charity Times award for rising chief executives in 2016 for his work at Vista.
Paul has 24 years' experience of working for charities, and was previously operations director for the young person’s charity Catch22 and head of adult services at Scope.
Paul said “I’m excited about being part of an organisation with such a strong values base and welcome the opportunity to work with the 600 SJOG Hospitaller Services colleagues across the country to be of more benefit to the people we are here to serve. ”
Brother Donatus, Chair of Trustees said “We are at an important and exciting stage in the evolution of our mission of Hospitality, as responsibility passes increasingly to our lay Hospitallers and colleagues. I wish Paul every success in his role as chief executive officer and I know that in the best tradition of our Hospitaller family that Paul can expect and receive a warm welcome and full cooperation and support.”
Fitting tribute to the late Peter Flower
It was with much sadness that we learned of the death of Peter Flower at the age of 90. Peter had been supported by the Hospitaller Order and Hospitaller Services since he moved into Barvin Park on 20 May 1944. After the closure of Barvin in 1994, a move to enable people to live in their own homes, Peter was supported to live in his own flat in Hatfield.
The following article that appeared in the Welwyn and Hatfield times pays great tribute to Peter:
Lindisfarne Court celebrates OUTSTANDING rating
Amanda Ashdown, the service's manager, said, "We are delighted to have received this outstanding rating. We have a great staff team who work very hard to ensure the people at Lindisfarne get the best possible care and support and we are so pleased to get this recognition.
Some of the features of the inspection included how staff were exceptional in their caring approach to people and relatives, and people who inspectors spoke with told them the staff team were dedicated and wanted the best for people they were caring for.
Debbie Westhead, Deputy Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care in the North said, "This is a service that provides excellent care. My inspectors commented on how committed the home was to help preserve the privacy and dignity of people who lived in the home. Everyone we spoke with praised the passion and commitment of the registered manager. The manager and the team demonstrated strong person-centred values and were committed to providing a first class service.
A final word from Craig who lives at Lindisfarne, "I'm so very proud of the staff team and we couldn't have done it without Amanda. I know that this is an excellent service but it is wonderful to see it in writing from CQC. I am overjoyed!"
Lindisfarne Court celebrates 25 years of opening
The service is home to thirteen people and is formed by three interlinking bungalows, each one decorated in a particular style to play a part in the Cinderella story. The planning of the event has taken months with all taking very active parts in making the final event something very special. Family, friends, colleagues and people from the charity’s services further afield came together on the afternoon of Friday 7 July when, after days of rain, the sun shone.
Barry said, ‘he was very proud and happy people had come to celebrate’. He also added living at Lindisfarne was ‘very good’.
The service’s first manager Lesley Robinson (left) pictured with current manager, Amanda Ashdown.
“People who live here enjoy a real home environment; they are encouraged to take a lead in the running of their home and to make choices and decisions to lead the lives they choose. We’re very proud to be celebrating 25 years and look forward to the next 25. We’ve also spent time remembering people who have been part of the service but are no longer with us – they too are a special part of its history.” Lesley Robinson, Head of Pastoral Care