The aim of GROW is to primarily work with men between the ages of 25-60yrs. Our clients are homeless men with complex needs inclusive of drug and or alcohol issue’s . The support we provide greatly depends on joint collaboration with our clients, referring agencies and professional bodies. GROW will only contact other agencies to ensure that care / support plans are holistic, consistent and do not duplicate or compromise services offered by other agencies .
Our aim is to offer medium to long term hostel accommodation to vulnerable, homeless men in and around the Watford area.
Our primary aim is to support our residents around drug and alcohol misuse issues, providing them with a safe and secure environment in which they can begin to address there issues . The service will provide assertive engagement using a harm reduction approach, via the cycle of change with the view to abstinence.
Here at GROW, we aim to direct all service users into recovery from drugs and or alcohol dependence at the earliest opportunity, while recognising that a significant number of individuals may not yet be motivated or be in a position to stop immediately .
GROW stands for the Group for the Rootless Of Watford. Our sole purpose is to fully support residents on there road to recovery
GROUP for the
In total we can house 21 residents, we have three properties, the main house can accommodate 12 with two further move-on houses which can accommodate 4 and 5 people respectively, making a total of 21. Residents can stay with us for a up to 18 months and some stay longer as long as they have an active move on plan.
This is one of our move on houses, sometimes referred to as GROW More, where four of our Rickmansworth Road residents have the option of moving to once they are well on their way to recovery. Here, our residents are far more self-sufficient, they are far more independent so less reliant on the main house for their day to day needs. These include cooking, cleaning, gardening and for the security of the house and for one another. They are encouraged to establish good relationships with their neighbours.
Residents here are of course welcome to come to the main house every day should they want to but their main focus is to eventually be less reliant on benefits and start back paid work once more, basically they are given more opportunity to progress.
This is the other of our move on houses which can accommodate five, this also comes under the banner of GROW More, where five of our Rickmansworth Road residents have the option of moving to when both parties feel that they are at that stage in their recovery. Just like Euston Avenue, our residents are far more self-sufficient, they are far more independent so less reliant on the main house for their day to day needs. These include cooking, cleaning, gardening and for the security of the house and for one another. They are encouraged to establish good relationships with their neighbours.
Residents here are of course welcome to come to the main house every day should they want to but their main focus is to eventually be less reliant on benefits and gain paid work once more, basically they are given more both the flexibility and opportunity to progress. All of our move on house residents have the full support of our staff members for and extra assistance that they may need.
Our core values are:
- Respect and ambition-we respect the life histories of homeless people, believe in their potential and will help realize their ambitions
- Excellence and creativity-we aim for excellent and creative solutions to the changing needs of homeless people
- Diversity and equality-we are richer as a charity and as a society by valuing diversity and striving for equality of opportunity.
The original idea for a Watford hostel for the homeless came about from the co-operation between Beechen Grove Baptist Church, Holy Rood Roman Catholic Church, Watford Probation Services, WCVS and others, who were running ‘supper clubs’ at the time. Food was cooked at various locations around Watford and then served at various other premises in the Town Centre.
A Steering committee was formed which included the Rev. Norman Moore, of St. Andrew’s Church Watford, Myrtle Frith of W.C.V.S., Alfred Kelly who ran a much valued second hand furniture store in the town, Ann Davis and Ann Singh-Toor, the latter two working for the Probation Service in Watford. At this point funding raising began. The steering committee was joined by a member of Watford Town Council and premises were leased to us at 36, Rickmansworth Road by Watford Borough Council, and GROW then became a reality in 1983, when a nine bed hostel was opened with three shared bedrooms. It was largely furnished by Alfred Kelly but gifts and donations were received from individuals and local churches many of whom still maintain a strong and much valued connection with GROW. The newly formed Charity/Company Ltd by guarantee, GROW had as its first chair of the committee the Rev. Norman Moore, Ann Davis taking over some time later and serving in this capacity for many years. Of the original Trustees only Ann Singh-Toor now remains as an active member.
The principal aim of GROW was to provide beds for rough sleepers, taking them off the streets and ensuring that they were fed and taken care of medically, after which their emotional and other needs could be taken care of. The committee were already in touch with and known by many rough sleepers around Watford, and as rough sleepers were often known to die in tragic and unpleasant circumstances it was a joy for the committee to see their project get off the ground and begin to bring relief to this vulnerable and disadvantaged section of our society.
Our first hostel manager was Malcolm Munday who was a fully ‘live in’ manager and was able to have time off by arrangement with volunteer cover from the Probation Services, Churches, Trustees and other concerned individuals. Then when finance began to come through from housing benefit and donations, a more regular staffing structure was put in place and three duty workers were employed on round the clock shifts. After several years a property was rented in Sutton Road as a move on house with four beds, and although we no longer have these premises we later rented another move on house known as GrowMore also with four beds, which we continue to operate today from Euston Avenue.
Worker and Book Keeper who have joined our team in addition to the three original Duty Workers.
Each and every one of our residents are completely unique and so are their stories. Stories of how they became homeless, sometimes through no real fault of their own and many stories uncover how some of our service uses became involved or dependent on drink and or drugs.
Please see just a selection below.
I became homeless at the age of fifteen due to my drug taking habits. My mum asked me to leave because of my constant drug usage, I started living with different friends for about two years (sofa surfing). Then I became so heavily involved in drugs that I was no long welcomed to stay at their house any more either.
At the age of seventeen I started living on the streets and taking drugs every day.
I also was staying in a tent and on some canal boats sited between Kings Langley and Rickmansworth. I was now stealing to feed my habit, and because of this I ended up being sent to prison several times (almost too many times to remember). I lived like this up until my last prison sentence which I received at the age of twenty eight. This time my sentence was for 18 months. It was in prison on this occasion that I decided that I simply had to get myself off drugs for good as I could not go on living like this. I came out of prison on the 4th October 2008 and went to live in a tent until a bed became available at the Sanctuary night shelter. When I finally got a bed there I got on well with my key worker, and was regular in taking my prescription medication every day to help me stay away from drugs. I was only in the Sanctuary for a short time when my key worker told me about GROW and the sort of support I would get from them. At first I was really very worried about sharing a room, but I was convinced by the manager at GROW to visit their hostel and see for myself what it would be like to share a room. Once I had actually visited GROW and realised that it was a
safe, stable and quiet environment and somewhere that I could settle and use as a good solid base to begin to rebuild my life from the trash that it had been, back to somewhere that I could be proud of myself. I made an interview with Jamie (manager) which went really well, and I moved in a few days later on the 9th February 2009. I feel that it was the right move for me says James. “I have already grown up since coming into GROW, and I have been able to start sorting my life out at a pace that I can cope with, and I am still drug free. I feel that with the ongoing support that I am getting from GROW and the help and
support that I will get in the future, that I would like to achieve a stable life style with a job and my own accommodation while continuing to live drug free. I am so grateful for all the help I have received.
As a registered charity we rely on supporters to help us fund our work with the homeless in and around the Watford area and as a charity, we love receiving cash donations, it means that we can put these funds straight to work. However a donation doesn’t necessarily have to involve money, there are many other was you can help…
There are lots of ways to become involved with GROW and help raise money to support our work.
Becoming a Patron
Becoming a patron is an exciting way of supporting us and will give you the opportunity of working very closely with both staff and residents at GROW.
Sponsor a Project
If you are looking to do something a little different that will also contribute immensely to our residents and the work that we do here at GROW, you could decide to support one of our projects. This could be in donating food, materials, furniture or even plants to help one of our house projects. This can be either as an individual or as a corporate sponsor, rest-assured that we’ll do all we can to make sure that you get fully credited for your efforts. Please contact us for further information.
Whether you’re doing a charity run, cycle ride or swim (or anything else for that matter!) or simply want to send us a donation, however large or small, you can be sure that your money will be put to good use. We can even tell you specifically what your money has helped to fund.
To arrange a donation on-line, please visit our JustGiving page by clicking here.
We’re always on the lookout for people who are keen to give something back to their local community. Some of our most recent volunteers are people who we have helped when faced with homelessness issues.
If you find that you can spare even just a few hours per week or if you have a certain set of skills that you think would really help us, we’d love to hear from you. we are currently looking for new Trustees
Trustees have ultimate responsibility for directing the affairs of a charity, and ensuring that it is solvent, well-run, and delivering the charitable outcomes for the benefit of the public for which it has been set up. if you are interested in joining our board of trustees please in the first instance email a letter of interest to email@example.com for the attention of Richard Butler Chair of the Trustees if you need to discuss the work of the charity please feel free to contact the Manager David Campbell on the phone number as outlined below .
We currently have the following vacancies part time, full time and zero hours for Hostel / project workers.
Please contact David Campbell via the following address, phone or e-mail link.
36 Rickmansworth Road,
Tel: 01923 256189