Bexley residents experiencing mental ill-health supported by special Christmas project | Wates

Hundreds of local residents experiencing mental ill-health are being supported by a special Christmas collection project.

Employees from Wates Residentials Park East and West Street construction sites in Erith have shown their support for the local Re-Instate W-rap project by collecting more than 500 items which will make up over 100 care packages. The packages will support disadvantaged residents, including those struggling with their mental health, across south London this Christmas.

Re-Instate provides gift parcels known as W-rap (Well-being, Recovery, Activity Parcels) to people in hospital to aid their recovery journeys. The project was set up after one client said they would find it comforting to have good quality toiletries and entertainment activities during long-term hospital stays.

Located in the Erith, the service is run out of St. Johns Church Community Hall, neighbouring Wates Residentials West Street development. Parcels put together by the national developers office and construction site teams will be gifted to people at the Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.

The collection included items that could be added to three types of care packages. For those arriving at the Trusts, parcels will be put together by Re-Instates W-rap team, volunteers coming from Re-Instates Employment Service and Bexley Voluntary Services Council.

Parcels will include home comforts that have been donated such as shampoo, face masks and bath bombs. To keep them occupied during their stay, separate activity packages will include items like word searches, playing cards and juggling balls. For those on their way home, parcels with household essentials such as food and toilet roll will be shared out.

Wates Residential is working in partnership with Orbit and the London Borough of Bexley to build 320 new homes at Park East in Erith, of which 80 per cent will for affordable rent and shared ownership to ensure a sustainable community for local residents. In addition, 42 mixed tenure affordable properties are due to be completed in Spring 2020 on the other side of Erith at West Street, which neighbours the Re-Instate project. Both developments come after the partners completed six years of work on the nearby Larner Road estate, transforming it into the award-winning, mixed tenure community Erith Park and delivering 587 new homes.

As part of their presence across these developments, Wates Residential and Orbit have also pledged to support the local community by providing employment and training opportunities for local residents, delivering a positive lasting legacy in the borough. This has already included the provision of work experience placements, careers advice events, promoting and working with local social enterprises, and a free two week construction and employability skills training course run by Wates called Building Futures to help local unemployed adults into work or further training.

Paul Nicholls, Managing Director for Wates Residential, said:

Re-Instates W-rap project is close to our Park East and West Street sites but it is also a vital service which addresses an issue close to our hearts. We feel passionately about supporting disadvantaged residents as well as those with mental ill-health as we believe that everyone deserves a great place to live.

Both the site team and wider Wates Group were really keen to get involved this Christmas so were delighted to have been able to collect more than 500 items, from adult colouring books to deodorant and hair brushes, and hope that all of them will bring some comfort to people spending time in hospital over the Christmas period and beyond.

Colette Robinson, W-rap Co-ordinator from Re-Instate, commented:

We are very grateful to Wates employees for this collaboration. The items collected will go a long way to making a difference in the communities we live and work within at the time of year when mental health stresses can be high.

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