International Podcast Day  - 30 September 2022

International Podcast Day™ is an international celebration of the power of podcasts. 

Two of our latest and favourite podcasts are delivered by Dr Lisa Alcorn, SJOG’s Chief Operating Officer and Ashley Wilson, Head of Service Development and Quality, and introduce SJOG’s Autism Postive Behaviour Support Practice Model and offer information on autism and communication.  

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability, which affects how people communicate and interact with the world around them. The prevalence of autism in the UK at present is currently more than 1 in 100 people and has a higher prevalence in males than to females, National Autistic Society (2021).

Communication difficulties are one of the main characteristics that can define a diagnosis of autism.   It is thought that 60-70% of human communication is actually non-verbal, meaning our expressions, body language, demeanour, and eye contact are just as important as verbal language. 

To listen to the podcasts, go to: 


September 2022

Supporting local communities

At St Paul’s Nursing Home in Selly Park Birmingham, SJOG’s activities co-ordinator, Suzi has been busy co-ordinating donations to the local food bank on behalf of the staff and sisters of St Paul’s.

The sisters have worked with lots of local charities over the years, and most recently have been collecting food supplies to donate to the B30 Food Bank to help people in the local community.

B30 are in desperate need to keep up with the demand of their emergency food parcels who currently report that more food is going out than coming in.

The sisters work with Suzi to run fundraising events such as raffles to raise money to purchase extra items of food which can then be donated to the food bank. They also work with people in the local community such as the local Girl Guides, neighbours and friends, who all give food items to sisters to donate on their behalf. 

The B30 Foodbank was set up by the B30 Churches Together network in September 2013 and currently has over 100 volunteers.   During 2021 the food bank gave out 6,765 emergency food parcels; a total of over 95,257kg of food.

To find out more about B30 Foodbank: 

Photo shows Suzi Kavanagh, SJOG’s Activities Co-ordinator – St Paul’s Nursing Home

August 2022

SJOG colleague – finalist for BBC Make A Difference Award

Fabrice Akpro, Project Worker at our modern day slavery services in Brighton was nominated for the Carer Award by service manager, Bianca.

The BBC Make A Difference Awards celebrate people who are going above and beyond to make a difference where they live, with the Carer Award looking to recognise someone who improves the life on an individual or group of people by caring for them on a regular basis.

The awards are a chance to say ‘Thank You’ and show recognition and appreciation for people who love to make life better for others.

Fabrice has been shortlisted as a finalist and will appear on BBC radio today, 8 August with the winner selected by a panel of judges.

Catch up with this on BBC Sounds


Homelessness Reduction Act - what to expect in years to come

The Homelessness Reduction Act became law on 3 April 2018. It introduced a duty for specified public authorities to refer people who they think may be homeless, or threatened with homelessness, to local authority homelessness/housing options teams within 56 days.    

In July this year, the Government launched a consultation for the Homelessness Prevention Grant 2023/24. The grant aims to provide support to all local housing authorities in England to prevent and tackle homelessness, as a commitment to enforce the Homelessness Reduction Act.  

Several grants have been already issued in the past few years: the Homelessness Reduction Grant (2020), Flexible Homelessness Support Grant (2021) and the Homelessness Prevention Grant (2022), which saw the development of schemes such as ‘Everyone In’ and ‘Accommodation next’.     

The period 2023-2025 will see continuing the investments in prevention, for developing additional initiatives as Housing First and the Affordable Housing Programme to address homelessness and rough sleeping.  

SJOG welcomes these initiatives and highlights the importance of addressing the issues that cause people to become homeless. In particular, SJOG recommends the improvements of access to affordable housing and the provision of long-term support in stable accommodation, including for non-UK nationals and those with no recourse to public funds (NRPF).   

For further reading go to : 'The Homelessness Reduction Act - what to expect in the years to come?'

August 2022

SJOG wins Public Finance Team of the Year 2022

At the North East Accountancy Awards event held on 30th June 2022, SJOG’s Finance Team were crowned as Public Services Finance Team of the Year. 

The Awards recognise excellence within the fields of finance, accounting and tax from all industry sectors operating in the North East.  SJOG colleagues were recognised for their outstanding contribution in returning SJOG to a sustainable charity and to its growth over the last three years.

“This is an amazing achievement for this small team, up against Local Authorities and NHS Trusts.  It underlines what we already knew – that they are brilliant!”  Paul Bott, Chief Executive – SJOG.

Photo shows four of the team: Sam, Lynne, Jenny and Melissa with the awards presenter


July 2022

The Order celebrates its 450th anniversary

The dream of Saint John of God lives on.

This year we celebrate the 450th anniversary of the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of God, the founding organisation of SJOG. 

It was in 1572, twenty-two years after the death of Saint John of God that his followers were recognised as a brotherhood – a religious organisation.  John of God had captivated and enthused his followers and they wanted the movement that he had initiated to continue.

The Order grew from its beginnings in Spain to a presence in over 50 countries and supporting millions of people.

“All we ask is, ‘How can we be of help?’  And we’ll give all the resources we have to reach out and help people face the challenges they have in their lives, and help people be the person they want to be.

What we are celebrating is that the work of Saint John of God is continuing and in manner that Saint John of God would approve of.” Br Donatus Forkan, Provincial of the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of God, West European Province. 

“The story of Saint John of God over the last 450 years has been one of courage, sacrifice and immense commitment to the example of Saint John of God.  Co-workers today have the responsibility to carry forward the dream and values.  It’s a privilege and a challenge, and we look forward with optimism to the future.” Conor McCarthy, Group CEO – Hospitaller Services Group


An online exhibition to mark the anniversary provides a snapshot of the Order’s history, together with its work in England from 1880.


June 2022

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