READ THE SMART CJS IMPACT REPORT 2019: Evolving in Difficult Times and Proving our Worth

Home | News | SMART Opens new Hub – Initially for Safer Streets Project

SMART Opens new Hub – Initially for Safer Streets Project

MEDIA RELEASE 15/12/2020

Bedford based charity, SMART CJS, has announced that the SMART Prebend Centre premises will be used in a whole new way. The building, formally a day centre for rough sleepers and people experiencing homelessness will now act as a one-stop shop hub for a range of services, initiatives, and projects. Using Home Office funding secured by the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner and Community Safety Partnership the hub will open in December and run until at least March 2021 as part of the Safer Streets Project.

The intention is that the space will be available for use by voluntary sector, charitable, public sector, and community interest groups, at least on a temporary basis, instead of the centre being empty and unused.

“The SMART Prebend Centre building was closed in March 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions and remains unusable as a homeless day centre”, said Anita McCallum, SMART CJS CEO.

“With Government funding and support locally, Bedford Borough Council was able to enact the “everyone in” policy. This meant that from April 2020 homeless and rough sleepers have been supported by SMART, partner organisations, the Council and volunteers in temporary hotel accommodation. Our teams are providing meals, emotional support and help with accessing healthcare, welfare, benefits and housing advice. Having everyone in once place is enabling us to support many more people who are experiencing homelessness to secure suitable accommodation.

“We have permission from the Council for this temporary change of use. And, initially, we intend to run the community centre on a cost-only basis so that it can be used by local organisations tackling issues of prime importance in Bedford.”

SMART CJS will not be running its annual CRIB Appeal this year and will, instead, be asking the community for particular items and/or monetary donations when needed.

Any monies kindly donated to SMART CJS as a one-off or by direct debit, as well as donated goods, will be used to:

  • Support the homeless and rough sleepers with food, toiletries and access to health, mental health, housing and welfare & benefits services in the hotel in Bedford;
  • Assist those who have made positive change in their lives and need help with making the transition to new, stable accommodation (e.g. food, furniture, clothes etc).

Jen Robus, SMART CJS Area Manager said “Demand for shelter and housing is likely to increase as the effects of Covid bite deeper, with many more unable to pay for accommodation. We remain committed in supporting the vulnerable and will continue to act as a safety net for those that find themselves homeless. We thank everyone for their continued support.”

To support SMART CJS’s services in Bedford please visit their donations page.

For more information about Safer Streets visit www.Bedford.gov.uk/saferstreets

WANT TO KEEP UP TO DATE WITH NEWS AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION?

Please complete the form below and we’ll keep you in the loop. We will never share your details and you will only receive relevant information.

Please keep me updated on the following (tick all that apply)
Please contact me by (tick all that apply):



  • HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?
    Often we overindulge during the Christmas period and sometimes find it hard to get back on track. SMART Wokingham is offering a free online session to help residents of Wokingham understand if they are drinking too much and how to make small changes to cut down. Read more...
  • SMART CJS NEWS BULLETIN NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
    The past two months have seen our teams overcome tremendous challenges - it's thanks to their unbelievable commitment that all SMART services remain open. We would not be able to do this without our incredible volunteers and generous donors; we do this together Read more...
  • SMART Opens new Hub – Initially for Safer Streets Project
    MEDIA RELEASE: Bedford based charity, SMART CJS, has announced that the SMART Prebend Centre premises will be used in a whole new way. The building, formally a day centre for rough sleepers and people experiencing homelessness will now act as a one-stop shop hub for a range of services, initiatives, and projects. Read more...
  • ONLINE CHAT FOR YOUNG PEOPLE IN WOKINGHAM
    BIG NEWS... Today SMART Wokingham launch a trial of 'LIVE CHAT' - an online service for young people living in Wokingham. LIVE CHAT provides an opportunity for under 18's to talk to the Wokingham team about anything to do with drugs or alcohol. Read more...
  • New Trustee for SMART CJS
    Sarah Ladbrook, FCCA, has worked in a range of sectors including utilities, software, technology, asset management, retail, charitable and hospitality.  She brings with her Management Accounting, Financial Accounting, Reporting and Forecasting experience. She also knows a lot about Xero – the accounting package that SMART uses – a real bonus! Read more...
  • Alcohol Awareness Week: Speaking up about Alcohol & Mental health
    This week SMART Wokingham, drug and alcohol support service will be joining 3,000 other community groups across the UK for Alcohol Awareness Week – led by Alcohol Change UK  –  to raise awareness of the link between alcohol and mental health, to speak out about the issues and the stigma surrounding them, and encourage anyone who is struggling to seek the support they deserve. Read more...
  • SMART CJS NEWS BULLETIN SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER
    New Lockdown, Same Pandemic: Demand Rises for SMART CJS Services and Support. We are back to stricter lockdown measures for the month of November. Our services will continue to run, but look out for some adjustments. Read more...
Quick exit — hide this page now!