Broch’s Christine picks up award

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The Salvation Army’s Swan Lodge Lifehouse for homeless men has received three awards in sh ort succession of each other.

The first, a Sunderland Business Portfolio Award, was won for the Centre’s service to the community, the second, an Open College Network Award for their tenancy move-on programme, and now the Lifehouse can add to the haul further recognition of its tenancy achievement programme in the What’s On 4 Me Awards.

“It’s incredible to get this recognition,” said Christine Ritchie, Centre Manager of The Salvation Army Lifehouse.

Ms Ritchie, a Brocher, added: “We just come into work every day trying to do our best, and to be considered, let alone win, these accolades is a real honour.”

“I have an incredible team that I couldn’t do this job without,” she continued. “It’s particularly satisfying to be recognised for our work encouraging our clients to become independent, because that’s really at the heart of how we help people move on with their lives into a tenancy, work and back into society again.”

The Salvation Army, as a Church and Charity that cares for isolated and vulnerable people in society, prides itself on its ethos of helping the whole person, giving that person the skills, support and spiritual assistance necessary to permanently give them their independence back.

This is exemplified through the tenant training programme that OCN North East Region recognised in their award to the Centre, and the What’s On 4 Me Awards recognised by awarding tutor Sonia Ritchie-Park the Best Skills/Learning Provider Award for the programme delivered exclusively at the centre. The programme consists of around twenty units, from parenting to budget skills, citizenship to cooking, of which residents are able to select twelve.

In place for two years, the programme has a 100% success rate, and a 98% retention rate.