The Parish Nursing initiative has been set up to provide whole-person health care for people who are experiencing homelessness, or are at risk of becoming homeless, life and health inequalities, addictions, and loneliness. The project operates as a drop-in clinic which runs twice a week at the Steeple Church where the parish nurses provide a broad range of services such as one-to-one emotional support for people experiencing loneliness, practical support such as improving a person’s self-esteem by way of a free haircut, and information around health concerns such as blood-borne viruses.

The Parish Nursing project is supported by a team of approximately eighteen volunteers, some of which who had previously attended the clinic. Volunteers are important for this type of project as they bring a wealth of lived experience and skills.

The project at The Steeple started in 2008, with a remit of reaching out to people in the city centre to provide health support. Gradually awareness increased that there were many people around the city centre, living unhappily with the effects of poverty and often with all sorts of addictions that are deeply damaging to whole person health. Working in partnership with NHS community nursing colleagues, a Drop-in Clinic has been developed at the Church that invites people in for whole person care.  This includes wholesome food, some clothing etc, and a speedy system for referral to Practice Nurses and GP services. A mobile dental surgery comes along once a week and welfare benefits advisers now visit regularly. Over the past five years we’ve seen hundreds of people, some regularly and others infrequently. An average of 26 people attend each session. We make several referrals every week to local Food Banks and many other supportive agencies.

There has already been a good response to the Parish Nursing initiative. In supporting and working with people to address ongoing health inequalities, we foster a genuine sense of family and belonging. By working with people who attend the clinics, their lived experiences and personal skills can be drawn upon to help provide a supportive and nurturing environment, helping visitors to develop a sense of purpose, improve their health, and to feel a sense of belonging, going on to live full, satisfying lives

Weekly drop-in sessions take place at the Steeple Church, Nethergate, Dundee.

If you would like to attend, or if you would like to learn more, please contact us either by telephone on 01382 200031 or you can e-mail us at parishnurse@thesteeplechurch.org.uk.