Mental Health Awareness Week: 13th-19th May 2024

Movement: moving more for our mental health

13th to 19th May marks this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week. The theme promotes the benefits of movement for mental health, which range from improved mood, reduced anxiety, lowered inflammation and stress, improved memory, increased confidence and improved sleep, to name but a few.

At SJOG there have been a number of initiatives taking place in the week to promote good mental health amongst our colleagues:

Self-care sessions

Interactive sessions focusing on self-care, wellbeing, and stress management. Teaching effective strategies and tools for nurturing mental and physical health.

Fit Your Own Oxygen Mask First’ workshop

This session posed the questions, ‘Are you putting yourself high on your own priority list?’ and ‘Are you taking the time to self-reflect and assess any areas of your own self-care that you might be neglecting or that you feel you need to improve upon?’

The session also covered the BACE model, looking at four simple areas: Body, Achieve, Connect, and Enjoy, as a way of calibrating what's going well and where we need to focus our energy to increase our self-care practice to increase our overall wellbeing.

SJOG Step Club

Further promoting the benefits of moving, the SJOG Step Club was launched during Mental Health Awareness Week - a group where colleagues can track steps and encourage each other to get moving and prioritise their physical and mental health.


May 2024

Share this story

SJOG Service Manager Nominated for Stars of Social Care Award


Congratulations to Nicola for the nomination under the complex card award, which recognises a team or individual delivering a care home service, and who have showcased the skills, awareness and leadership necessary when caring for someone with complex health and care needs.  

Nicola is the service manager at the Old Vicarage and has been pivotal to the implementation of an Autism Quality of Life Measurement Tool in her service and has been influential in remarkable outcomes for the people we support who have a diagnosis of autism and complex needs. The service which opened in 2022, is thriving in quality and practice supporting 4 gentleman to transition effectively and shape their aspirations for the future.

The Stars of Social Care Awards shine a light on the stars of social care, paying tribute to the workforce, who through dedication and a commitment to care, go above and beyond to support those who are most vulnerable.

“People who work in social care transform lives, and they are the unsung heroes within our communities.  They deserve our gratitude and recognition. I am delighted to be supporting the Stars of Social Care Awards, which are an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the fantastic people who work so hard for the benefit of others.”  Professor Martin Green, CEO – Care England

Winners will be announced at the award ceremony taking place in London on 15 June hosted by This Morning’s presenter Josie Gibson.

Good luck Nicola!

May 2024

Share this story

Meeting more need

A new service for SJOG

North View in Jarrow is a registered care home providing personal care and support for up to 6 adults who may be living with learning disabilities and autism. 

The contract awarded to SJOG by South Tyneside Council will commence in early July and will see SJOG expand its services to meet more need.

We look forward to welcoming on board the staff team where together we will provide a high quality, personalised care home service that promotes choice, dignity, control and quality of life for everyone using the service, while assisting them to develop their skills and achieve clear individual outcomes.


May 2024

Share this story

SJOG takes part in Social Housing Allocation Consultation

SJOG has recently responded to the Government’s consultation on Social Housing Allocation which ran from January to March this year.

The consultation applies to the Social Rented Sector (SRS) and proposes changes to the allocations system so that it prioritises those who have a strong connection to the UK, their local area and those that do not disrupt communities through anti-social behaviour or terrorism offences.

At SJOG we are aware that in 2022-23 only 9,561 social homes were delivered in England, compared to nearly 40,000 in 2010 (according to NACCOM) and we understand the current pressures on social housing to ensure that allocation is prioritised to those who are most eligible, due to a lack of housing supply. 

However, homelessness is currently at record levels. Recent data published by DLUHC has revealed a significant rise in rough sleeping in England, particularly amongst asylum leavers and migrants from outside of the EU, with 7,072 people shaving slept rough over the month of December 2023 - an 18% increase on December 2022.

It is of particular concern that vulnerable migrants who are subject to immigration control are excluded from homelessness assistance, and therefore from housing support. Additional language barriers, a lack of understanding of the housing market, financial constraints, and a lack of local authority support to accessing the private renting sector also contribute to a perpetuation of unstable living conditions. 

In response to the consultation, we recommended:

  • that vulnerable migrants at risk of homelessness (such as retired or incapacitated workers), with limited right to remain, who cannot be in employment nor entitled to Universal Credit, should be entitled to housing allocation, in addition to welfare policies and immigration support.
  • the housing allocation cap should be in place for those who cannot demonstrate local connection but are at risk of harm/homelessness, such as people subject to modern-day slavery and trafficking, newly granted refugees and people discharged from hospitals in recovery settings. 
  • to exempt people who are entitled to PIP, Disability Living Allowance and Pension Credit from an income test, as well as people subject to modern-day slavery and trafficking who are given limited leave under Appendix Temporary Permission to Stay for Victims of Human Trafficking or Slavery of the Immigration Rules.

Feedback from the consultation is due to issued later in the year.

A better understanding of latest Social Housing regulations and their impact on homelessness prevention strategies can be found in our Policy Paper from September 2022:

April 2024

Share this story

Autism Acceptance Month

April 2024

Autism Acceptance Month runs throughout April and is an opportunity to raise awareness about autism, to promote acceptance, and to celebrate the achievements and contribution of people with autism.

Autism is a lifelong disability that affects how people communicate and interact with the world. In the UK, there are 700,000 autistic adults and children, and raising awareness of autism will help their acceptance in our communities and workplaces.

Autism is a spectrum disorder which means people with autism can have varying support needs. One third of people with autism also have a learning disability. 

Some autistic people will have high support needs, which may mean that they require full time care and support. Some people may need a bit of support with day-to-day activities, while others live fully independent lives.

With the right support in place, all autistic people should be able to live the life they choose. 

At SJOG, 39% of the people we support in our learning disability services are autistic. To deliver the highest level of support and understanding, 96% of our colleagues across our autism services have an Autism Level 2 qualification and 67% of our operations and service management colleagues have a post graduate degree in autism, and leading our operations, we have Dr Lisa Alcorn with a doctorate in autism and positive behaviour support,  who says, “One of my many responsibilities is to not ‘fix’ people with autism, but to create inclusive and capable environments so that people can thrive.”

Follow us this week on Facebook and LinkedIn for a month of autism-related posts: and 

April 2024

Share this story

World TB Day - 24 March 2024

Yes! We can end TB

World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, 24 March 2024, continues with the theme “Yes! We can end TB”. Organised by the Word Health Organisation (WHO) it provides an opportunity to raise awareness, and also the opportunity to renew commitment, inspire and take action to end TB.

TB is still one of the world’s deadliest diseases with around one quarter of the world’s population infected. In recent years, there has been a worrying increase in drug-resistant TB.

Drug-resistant TB is most prevalent among people with social risk factors, including homelessness, especially rough sleepers who are more likely to be infectious and less likely to complete their treatment.

As part of our commitment to raising awareness, SJOG’s Chief Development Officer, Dr Jamie Mackrill presented at a conference organised by Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) TB Nursing Service which provided a day of focused learning, networking and collaboration to develop actions for addressing the challenges of TB in the LLR area and share innovative and effective practices to deal with the growing TB caseload.

Dr Jamie delivered a presentation on our work at Olallo House in tackling TB among street homeless people.

It is almost 11 years since we welcomed the first guest with TB at Olallo House and became a small but crucial part of the support structure that contributes in the fight to eliminate TB. Providing specialist medical, social and psychological support enables homeless patients to complete their full course of treatment and address other issues that have contributed to their homelessness.  

Treatment for drug-resistant TB can take up to two years.

Please support Olallo's work:

As we mark World TB Day and celebrate our work at Olallo House supporting some of the most vulnerable TB patients through their treatment and with the other complexities of their lives, we continue to seek funding to complement their treatment package.  Please donate and help us to help people rebuild their lives: 

March 2024

Share this story

Click here to view older stories