Medical check-ups by healthcare professionals will be an integral part of the services on offer for homeless people in the capital many of whom may not have received a health check for some time.
Eight temporary centres will be set up in London by Crisis, the national homelessness charity, as part of the COC campaign. The centres will provide vital companionship and hot meals for homeless and vulnerably housed people as well as essential services including medical support, housing and benefit advice, training and further education opportunities.
As part of the medical support, Crisis are looking for a range of medical professionals to volunteer their services, including doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, healthcare assistants, practice managers, medical receptionists and health promotion specialists.
Last year two mobile surgeries were provided for Crisis Open Christmas giving 701 homeless people the opportunity to be seen by medical teams of doctors and nurses. Around 300 people were screened for TB, over 280 guests had their feet treated by a podiatrist, 156 people had dental treatment and 250 people received an eye test.
Shifts at the COC advice centre this year are available in the morning afternoon and evening from from December 23 – 30. Volunteer healthcare professionals are encourage to do at least two shifts.
Karen Jones, a diabetes nurse and lead healthcare volunteer, said: “I would really recommend all healthcare professionals to volunteer for Crisis Open Christmas this year and help some of the most vulnerable people in society.
“It’s a good way to brush up on your healthcare skills while doing something that is positive for others. It’s a really memorable experience and has helped me grow as a person.”
Crisis Open Christmas would not be possible without the 6,500 volunteers who generously donate their time and skills over the Christmas week. Volunteer healthcare professionals will play a key part in the process.
To find out more about volunteering call 020 7426 3875 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also apply online at www.crisis.org.uk/volunteering.
For further media information, please contact Colin Joseph or Jane Eggleton at Crisis on 0207 426 3880 email@example.com
Notes to Editors:
1. Crisis is the national charity for single homeless people. The Charity campaigns and delivers innovative services year-round to help people find a route out of their homelessness and rebuild their lives. Crisis estimates that there are 400,000 hidden homeless people in Britain. The majority are single people who are not eligible for social housing and as a result live in hostels, bed and breakfasts or sleep on the floor of family and friends.
2. Crisis Open Christmas is held at eight venues across London from 23-30 December. The centres provide a wide range of essential services that homeless people do not normally have access to.
3. Coming to the Crisis Open Christmas Centres is the first step many homeless people will take towards rebuilding their lives and building independent futures.
4. The first Crisis Open Christmas was in 1971 when a group of 20 volunteers used a derelict church in Westminster, London to house and feed homeless people during the Christmas week.
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