Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Today was the annual Soup Kitchen in Jersey’s royal square.
It has become an annual event to raise funds for Jersey’s homeless.

That it has become an annual tradition just before Christmas ought to say something about our little community. Should we be proud to care about homeless people in this Island in this way - or ashamed that they exist at all?

This year the problem is especially poignant because the ROSENEATH CENTRE will be closing at the end of December. This residential home caters for 30 adults and employs about a dozen specialist caring staff - but it’s being axed – for reasons which nobody seems to want to discuss.
It certainly was not a live issue around the square today where people were probably more interested in being seen among the right crowd doing the right thing.
Most of our politicians were there along with the Bailiff and others from the good and the great of Jersey with plenty of clerical collars on show.

We contacted Deputy Roy Le Herissier last week for an interview but he declined although he sits on the Roseneath Executive Committee that met last night.
He refused to say anything much more again today when we met him at the Soup Kitchen. He said that he was no longer on the Committee although he was at last night’s meeting (his membership is still listed in the Register of States Members Interests).
He blames the fact that the home was recently registered as the cause of its demise and could not afford to comply with improved and regulated standards. There is no hidden scandal he says – nobody has run off with the money because there isn’t any!

So, is it true that standards of care are so high that they put Roseneath out of business? If so, what chance for the Health Department’s grand plans for Care in the Community as published this year?
Who can afford to comply with such regulations and who could afford to be cared for?

We have also asked Roseneath management to speak with us but they have declined so far.
Everybody we ask talks about “resident confidentiality” when we ask where the 30 people are going after 31 December? We don’t want names of course – but we should like to know that they won’t be sleeping under hedges.

Even Senator Ozouf, the Treasury Minister came out with this same confidentiality line today at the Soup Kitchen when we asked. He said that it was not a question of money that the home was closing and that all residents were being re-housed. He had nothing to add regarding staff and their futures and was his usual smug self.

What about the buildings – who owns them?
Roseneath occupies two adjoining, large Regency houses in Springfield Terrace, Trinity Road.
One was donated free by the States and the pair are probably worth over £1.2 millions so Roseneath is at least asset strong.
No doubt the legal eagles aka vultures will soon be feasting on fees from this tasty legal morsel but what is the public interest in this valuable, useful property plus the missing 30 residents and staff?


  1. It is interesting that an annual tradition should have grown up in the second week of December. Not least because - as you surely know - there is another anniversary in the second week of December that is commemorated less even than 28 September. For 10 December marks the anniversary of the adoption by the UN General Assembly of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    As regards those who are homeless, it is worth noting the text of Article 25(1), which states:

    Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

    Perhaps the States might care to take a look at this sometime...

  2. It is a travesty that Roseneath is closing, and even moreso at this time of year.

    From what I can glean as my daughter did support work there, all the staff are most upset and will be subject to redundancy (more jobs lost). Residents will be re-housed by Housing, but naturally that community spirit and support will be lost to those who are vulnerable.

    Furthermore, Mr Altruistic Ozouf - what happened to the short-lived 'Roseneath must be saved at any cost' statement when its closure was first announced?

    A great, great shame.

  3. Roseneath was supposed to provide a "safe secure and supportive environment for vulnerable adults". It catered especially for those emerging from alcohol dependency and was a totally dry home. Those with a former drugs dependency were also cared for but as reports to Scrutiny revealed (when the late John Huelin was in charge in 2004), there were special difficulties in this area. Not least, the unco-ordinated and inadequate policies of the States.
    Thus it is especially worrying that any people with potential dependency problems might have been forced out at this time because they will need the continuing support of the staff etc.

    Also worrying is that residents did not need housing quals (just 5 years residence in Jersey)to be cared for at Roseneath, so not all those expelled now might even be able to take up proper accommodation (such as a flat) even if they are capable of surviving on their own. There are many such questions about this closure that need to be publicly explained now.

    Residents were expected to contribute about £100 per week (this covered accommodation, meals etc) at Roseneath and could obtain Income support help if needed. But whether those now expelled will be all be able to survive economically, paying their own bills, must be doubtful.

    It was announnced in October that about 17 residents were being expelled yet Roseneath was capable of housing 30 people. How long has it been almost half empty and why? There can be no doubt that the demand for this specialist type of accommodation is not being met in Jersey at this time. But, how many people in Jersey actually do need such a home now? Does anybody know or care?

    It has been claimed that the States largely funded Roseneath yet Lloyds TSB awarded a £90,000 grant in December 2010, and the Association of Jersey Charities granted £20,000 in 2009, £17,442 in 2010 and £16,666 on 28 October 2011 (the latter for "team leader salary").
    The Parish of St Saviour apparently granted £400 per annum but the books have not yet been made public to show the extent of any financial difficulties. Did they really exist at all or is there some other reason behind this closure?
    Is this just another result of Senator Ozouf's CSR cut spending spree? And, why are the other 50 States Members so silent?

    Deputy Le Herissier's role also needs to be clarified especially since he seems to have ceased serving on the Roseneath Committee during this weeks meeting. Is there a dispute about the running of this most important care facility? Should the public be more fully informed?

    The future use of these buildings must also raise concerns. If - as is suggested - they might become another Shelter then the loss of a totally "dry" or "clean" home is all the more regrettable in an Island which is awash with alcohol and where drug abuse is such a big problem.
    "Roseneath Trust for the Homeless" was the name of this organistion in the past but just what has so suddenly changed in Jersey that accommodation for 30 homeless people can be closed at the click of somebody's fingers?
    Does Jersey no longer have a homelessness problem? Is the annual Soup Kitchen in the Royal Square yet another meaningless Jersey tradition?
    Tom Gruchy writes

  4. Does Jersey no longer have a homelessness problem?

    When working people can be told to pack up their belongings and vacate at a week's notice, as happened to a colleague of my wife's? Is Tom Gruchy 'avin' a larf??!!

    (And of course, that sort of working person won't get into Roseneath or any other sort of shelter because they do not have 5 years' residence)

  5. roseneath was set up by the private nemo trust who for a long time funded the roseneath center

    what has happened to the trust? did the money run out? if not where will money from the nemo trust go?