SJOG Magic Space Ambassadors 

Meet our Magic Space ambassadors! 

The ambassadors recently completed an intensive day of sensory training which is the first step in our Magic Space research project. 

Magic Space is a concept that we have been working on for several years.  In 2020, the Covid pandemic and the need to shield vulnerable people in our care meant that access to traditional sensory therapies ceased. The need for Magic Space became even more apparent and in September 2020, The National Lottery (as part of the Covid Response Fund) granted the funding for the first Magic Space.  Between then and December 2020, Magic Space was designed and coach-built to our specification and was delivered to us in January 2021.

This will enable us to deliver bespoke sensory experiences to meet the needs of people we support; combining technology and traditional sensory experiences and therapy, whether that might be calming, stimulating, for desensitisation, learning or for entertainment.  The technology uses immersive virtual reality, projection, 360 multi-sensory experience including wind, scent, touch, sound and vibration.

All did extremely well and we look forward to keeping you all updated on our progress. 

Well done ambassadors!

September 2021

Steven enjoys a free cruise

Steven Allison was one of the lucky 999 people to board a Royal Caribbean cruise-liner for a 4-day cruise around the UK in July. Royal Caribbean offered free cruise holidays for workers in the emergency services, social care sector, NHS and armed-forces in a nod of appreciation for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.  Key workers who were able to show proof of an official Blue Light card and were UK residents were able to register in a ballot which was drawn in April.

Steven who has worked for SJOG for 28 years and is based at our supported living service in Leyburn set off from Southampton along with his wife and two daughters.

Steven said, “We had a fabulous time and were treated like absolute royalty! Amazing experience!”

30 July 2021

We cannot be more proud!

Last week three of our Carmona House clients graduated from the 10-week Free Thinking course at the Fircroft College in Birmingham. Clients have enjoyed a 10-week x 3-day residential course at the Fircroft College facilities.

Free Thinking is for victims of trauma such as modern slavery. During the 10 weeks people are able to share their stories with each other, learn about different cultures, build their confidence and start planning their next steps.

After four months of effort, the three students completed their course on 24th June with the presentation of their projects, accompanied by their key worker Jana Grygarova who has encouraged, supported and accompanied them during this process.

Our three graduates are ready for the next level! Congratulations!

Ivan Munoz,Team Leader - Birmingham
Homelessness and Modern Day Slavery/ Trafficking Services

Photo shows two of our graduates with their key worker, Jana

16 July 2021

Olallo House Commended in London Homelessness Awards

From 30 applications, and short-listed to the final six Olallo House been specially commended for its work as a specialist TB homeless service.

Ian Brady, Executive Chair of London Housing Foundation and chair of the judging panel, said: “With a strong field of applicants, each of these projects did well to get to the last six and all would have been worthy winners.”  

More details about the London Homelessness Awards can be found at  

#LondonHomelessnessAwards    #LHA2021

14 July 2021

Olallo House Shortlisted in London Homelessness Awards

SJOG's Olallo House is one of six projects from across London that has been shortlisted for the London Homelessness Awards 2021.

These were announced in yesterday’s (1 July 2021) press release by London Housing Foundation: 

Shortlist for London Homelessness Awards Announced!  

Six projects from across London have been shortlisted for the London Homelessness Awards and are in the running to win the first prize of £30000.

This is the 21st anniversary of the awards, which are sponsored by the London Housing Foundation, London Housing Directors, Mayor of London, Crisis and Shelter. This year the awards are run in partnership with the Evening Standard Homeless Fund.

Organisers received over 30 applications for the awards and a judging panel had to choose just six. The projects will now be visited by a member of the panel and the final winner and runners up who will share a prize fund of £60000 will be announced at a special event on October 14th at the Union Chapel in Islington.

Simon Dow is the Chair of the judging panel for the London Homelessness Awards. He said: “In a strange and uniquely challenging year for the housing and homelessness sector we were very pleased with the number and quality of applications received. Yet again we saw examples of really high quality innovative work being carried out by a wide variety of organisations across London, helping people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. It was as ever very tricky to agree a final six but these projects show real imagination, sustainability and commitment to help reduce homelessness in London.”

The six shortlisted projects (in alphabetical order) are:

Camden Health Improvement: is a specialist homeless GP service in Camden. Since 2015 they have provided a novel, innovative and evidence-based GP Outreach programme. The impact has been to raise the average age of death of their homeless patients from 47 up to 54 years old. This is whilst the national trend has been for the age of death for homeless people to fall from 47 down to 44 years of age.

MyBnk: The Money House is an accredited youth homelessness prevention scheme. It targets care leavers and vulnerable young adults about to move into social housing. Over a week, trained experts in four real flats across London teach participants everything they need to know to keep their tenancy. They focus on survival money management skills, understanding systems, planning for the future, and reducing financial exclusion. It has resulted in a 64% drop in evictions for those at risk of becoming homeless.

Southwark Law Centre: Homeless Patients Legal Advocacy Service: Southwark Law Centre works in partnership with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust's Homeless Health Team to provide advice and legal representation for homeless hospital patients. The law centre's specialist solicitors help patients with particularly complex immigration, housing or welfare benefits cases. It also provides training and advice to the Trust's homeless health team and other staff, so they are better able to support this particularly vulnerable patient group.

Standing Together and Solace Women’s Aid: The Westminster VAWG (violence against women and girls) Housing First project provides permanent, independent housing and intensive support for 20 women experiencing long term homelessness, any form of VAWG and multiple disadvantage. Solace work to build relationships with the women and provide intensive ‘woman led’ support to help them maintain a tenancy and improve physical and mental wellbeing. Standing Together manage partnerships with a coalition of housing partners who provide units for the project.

SJOG Hospitaller Services: Olallo House is an innovative intermediate care service opened in 2008 in response to multiple tuberculosis (TB) treatment failures and preventable deaths among people experiencing homeless with complex needs and No Recourse to Public Funds. In addition to successfully supporting people to complete challenging TB treatment, Olallo is first and foremost a “home” providing holistic, trauma informed support enabling residents to realise positive changes and move on in their lives.

St Mungo’s: Westminster Street outreach Service work 365 days of the year early in the morning and late at night to provide support for individuals rough sleeping in Westminster. Westminster SOS provide support and assistance to anyone that finds themselves rough sleeping in Westminster. When people are housed they are then offered bespoke support so individuals maintain accommodation and do not return to the streets. This includes support with housing, health, immigration, access to benefits and reconnections where appropriate.

More details about the London Homelessness Awards can be found at:

2 July 2021

Welcoming Rockliffe Court to SJOG

We’re delighted to welcome the people of Rockliffe Court to the SJOG family.  Rockliffe Court in Hurworth, near Darlington provides eighteen self-contained supported living accommodation and community facilities with 24-hour support for people with physical and sensory disabilities. 

The properties are owned by the Hospitaller Order of Saint John, our founding charity, but for over 20 years have been leased, and the service delivered by another provider.  We look forward to them being part of the growing number of services we provide for people with learning and physical disabilities.

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