CPG Would like to say a big thank you to the Screwfix Foundation for the grant of £5000, this will pay for a much needed full kitchen refurbishment in one of our Ely properties.


Haverhill man in supported housing angered by charity's decision to evict him and turn his home into offices

By Steve Barton


Published: 09:32, 27 September 2019

| Updated: 09:33, 27 September 2019

A man with mental and physical health needs says he is facing potential homelessness because of the ‘morally reprehensible’ decision by his landlord – a charity – to evict him and turn his home into its office.

Mike Watkins has for the past 18 months lived in a three-bedroom house in Burton End, Haverhill, that is owned and provided for supported housing by the charity Cambridge Pringle Group (CPG).

“They want to turn my home into offices, which is I suppose legal but morally reprehensible,” said Mike.

Mike Watkins has lived in the sheltered housing provided by the Cambridge Pringle Group for 18 months but has been given notice to move out by October 18 because the charity wants to use the house as an office. Picture by Mecha Morton

“They are not offering me anything else.

“Therefore (after October 18) I’m the responsibility of the council or I’m in the gutter.”

The charity’s primary aim, according to its own website, is ‘promoting independence in mental health by the provision of specialist housing and services’.

Mr Watkins, 47, says he received a no fault eviction notice in early August to move out of the property, where he is now the only remaining occupant after the departure of the other two tenants to different accommodation.

The charity, he said, initially gave him until September 27 to find another place to live, a date that had since been extended to October 18.

Mike has been on medication for anxiety and depression for six years and is currently using morphine and codeine to manage the pain caused by a fractured vertebrae he suffered in his neck, for which he is seeing a trauma consultant at West Suffolk Hospital on October 11.

He cannot drive because he is using morphine and says he needs to stay either in Haverhill or Bury St Edmunds.

Although he is registered in the priority band with the Homelink service, which is a choice-based a letting scheme for all affordable housing owned by councils and other registered providers in west Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, properties do not come up very often and he has no certainty of finding a new home before his eviction.

He said: “I can find a B&B and I’m sure if it came to 11th hour the council might step in and help me but I do have quite severe physical problems and mental health needs, which is why I’m here.

“My depression and anxiety are largely helped with medication but I struggle with people around me.

“I can’t go shopping alone. I need my support worker with me.

“I did say (to CPG) I can live here in one room and you can use the rest of the house and the communal rooms for your office and they said ‘no, we want you to be out’.”

Mr Watkins says he has had his weekly rent of £177.77 paid directly to CPG throughout his tenancy so far.

He added: “I do have the feeling where I am not being helped at all by the landlord.

“There is no reason they can give to get rid of me other than that they require office space and that means that one of their residents, me, is suffering more than I need to be.

“I’m going to end up not in supported housing but in a B&B and they know that and they don’t care.

“When I moved in here they said ‘you can live here for four or five years and make it your home’.

“Everything they’ve said to me has been a lie because they need some new office space. From my personal point of view I’m being treated like rubbish.

“I would have expected more from them and i think most people would as well.”

Antony Cullup, CPG chief executive, said it was against its policy to discuss individual residents without them present with the press to protect the privacy of its residents and the location of its properties.

He added: “I can confirm that we are aiming to use one of our properties in Haverhill as a temporary office as we have outgrown the Station Road (Haverhill) office.

“We have worked with all the residents affected to provide suitable alternative accommodation, two of the three have moved on already.

“We would like to thank Housing Options/West Suffolk Housing teams for assisting in getting residents moved on and allocated band A status (Homelink Property).”

14th May 2019

Wow!!!! what a great night we had at Haverhill Costa last night.......over £250 raised for CPG and the fabulous Adam Evans did us proud with his amazing talents. A very big thank you to all that supported us with this event. (and well done Jo for arranging it!)

CPG is now a Member of The Almshouse Association(TAA)

- We feel that the ideology of TAA mirrors our own view of localism - local charities for local beneficiaries run by local trustees.

Membership No M1962

November 2018

Case Study N

N had suffered a significant bereavement and was staying with friends when N decided that life was not living, drug misuse and an underlying Mental Illness were also making things more difficult to manage.

N spent a month in a psychiatric ward and was discharged to a Pringle Property. After a difficult and rocky few months N started to trust and engage with the CPG team.

I am pleased to say that N has just moved into a Housing Association flat of her own in Cambridge, N is working (part time) and has a supportive partner.

N made the difficult decisions and did the hard work, CPG is pleased to have been able to assist.

All supported housing funding to be retained in welfare system

Housing benefit will be kept in place for all those living in supported housing, the government has announced.

Published 9 August 2018


Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, Department for Work and Pensions, Kit Malthouse MP, and Justin Tomlinson

Ministers recognise that supported housing is a vital service for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, and last year consulted on possible alternative funding options.

Having listened to views from providers, stakeholders and councils, the government has decided housing benefit will remain in place to fund this accommodation.

Housing Minister, Kit Malthouse MP, said:

Protection of the most vulnerable has always been our primary concern, and following our consultation, the case for keeping supported housing in the welfare system became clear.

The sector also recognised that our aim of improving the quality of homes must be addressed, and we look forward to now working with partners to make sure we have strong measures in place.

Justin Tomlinson, Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance, said:

We are committed to ensuring that vulnerable people have access to the supported housing they need to live safely and independently.

We value the expertise of stakeholders and have listened carefully to their concerns during the consultation.

As a result we will continue to pay housing benefit for all supported housing –making sure safe homes are provided for those that need it most.

Alongside this, government has also today announced that it will work with providers, local authorities, membership bodies and resident representatives over the coming months to develop a robust oversight regime.

This work will ensure quality and value for money across the whole supported housing sector.

In addition, a review of housing related support will be undertaken to better understand how housing and support currently fit together.

Funding to help tackle rough sleeping in West Suffolk

By Newsdesk Bury


Published: 12:46, 12 June 2018

| Updated: 12:48, 12 June 2018

West Suffolk House. Picture: Mark Westley. (2171090)

A move to help rough sleepers off the streets in Bury St Edmunds has received a £250,000 boost from central Government.

West Suffolk Councils successfully bid for £245,782 towards initiatives to support people who are homeless.

Currently there are an estimated 29 rough sleepers across the councils with 22 located in Bury itself.

The money is part of a £30 million national fund awarded to councils that have a high number of rough sleepers.

Last year the council appointed Rhys Walters as rough sleeper prevention and support officer.

The two councils Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury are aiming for a holistic approach to the problem and to offer people ongoing support once they have a roof over their head.

The money will be used to add five more outreach worker posts to the the existing outreach team of three which includes Mr Walters.

The bid is supported by a range of partner agencies working with West Suffolk. These include Home Group, Notting Hill Genesis, Turning Point, Anglia Care Trust, Cambridge Pringle Group, Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust, Havebury Housing, YMCA, Riverside Housing, Suffolk County Council and the West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group.

Cllr Sarah Mildmay-White, West Suffolk cabinet member for housing, said: "Our bid was so successful because we have taken a holistic approach to this, working together with partners and looking at not only ways of helping people off the streets and into a home but then helping them stay there."

FEB 2018

CPG team at Costa for time to change (talk) day. Pop in for a cuppa and chat

Time to Talk day! Join us in various places to help us break down the stigma on mental health.

Elaine the Life link worker and Karen and Dan from One Haverhill will be at the Arts Centre cafe from 10 til 1, Sharon Michelle will be at Chex and I will be joining the Cambridge Pringle Group in Costa from 12-3. Pop along and show your support- Haverhill Mental Health and Well-being needs a voice! It’s time to be heard!!

If you can’t make tomorrow Open space will be in the Library on Friday from 12:30 til 2:30.

2018 Rental Figures for 2018/9 Year

Overall Increase of 1.449%

All Shared Rooms £173.99 per week (same figure as in 2010)- Cem lodge + £44 week Lease Fee

All Personal Contributions (service charge) £8 week - 217 Annex £10 week

Flats / Houses £218.62 Week.

January 2018

Latest issue of Cambridge Sub region Housing Market Bulletin.

January 2018 Nearly There! New Property In Haverhill.

Staff are in, now waiting for the soft furnishings and residents!

The 6 bed property is the latest addition to the other 4 houses, this brings the total bed spaces to 21.

"Rowans" will be the intake house allowing assessment and getting to know the CPG staff, once settled residents are suitably moved to one of our other long term properties (or outside CPG if more appropriate).