INTRODUCING… Nick Harrold
Nick Harrold – Outreach Worker as part of the Cyrenians Navigator Project
Following our successful renewal ballot last year, and based on the recommendations of local government, law enforcement and expert third sector partners, Essential Edinburgh is providing funds alongside Comic Relief to employ an Outreach Worker as part of the Cyrenians Navigator Project – Nick Harrold.
Nick kindly took a group of Essential Edinburgh staff on a walk-through of the city, following some of his daily rounds and explaining the challenges facing rough sleepers and the support needed to help them.
Nick works on a one-to-one basis with rough sleepers, providing support through developing a relationship and by responding to the person’s individual priorities and supporting them to address these.
Nick, who has 25 years’ experience working with vulnerable people, takes to the streets of Edinburgh several times a week alongside his colleague whose own experience of sleeping rough gives the service a unique advantage. The key to the project’s success is that it offers peer support delivered by someone who has experienced homelessness themselves.
“What makes us different is the combination of my networks and understanding of the way official systems work with his knowledge of the streets and personal connections. Folk open up to him much quicker than they would if it was just me,” Nick explained. His two-person team also liaises with other specialist agencies including the Bethany Christian Trust, the Community Police Team – including our BID Cop PC Baker – and Access Point.
Homelessness is a key issue, and through the efforts of Nick and The Cyrenians, and other third sector partners, a real difference is being made to the lives of people in our community. With this initiative, we can offer hope and real solutions to help people move away from a street-based lifestyle.