Rio is a Support Worker within Single Homeless Project’s Tenancy Support team in Lambeth. She works tirelessly to support vulnerable people to maintain their own tenancies and continue living independently in the community, which is a key factor in preventing homelessness. 

Rio offers practical support to help people manage their accommodation, having prevented numerous people from being evicted from their homes, but also works to empower her clients to take more control of their lives. The people Rio supports experience a huge range of underlying needs including mental health issues, drug and alcohol addition, poor health, debt and rent arrears, and domestic violence. 

“I always knew I wanted a job where I would be able to help people and be hands on in the community. I feel like this is my calling.” 

When the pandemic hit, Rio’s first thought was for her vulnerable clients and how she would be able to support them.  

Rio immediately set to work ensuring her clients would have everything they needed during lockdown, from arranging food bank deliveries to setting up Whatsapp groups so they could stay connected.  

Rio was committed to checking in with her clients every week and throughout the last year she was out speaking to clients at their front door from a safe distance or talking through their windows. Just having someone there to say hello made a huge different to her clients’ mental health, as many were already incredibly isolated and wouldn’t have seen or spoken to anyone else at all. 

Throughout the pandemic Rio has gone above and beyond for her clients, even arranging for a local laundrette to drop off fish and chips to a client’s front door, so he wouldn’t go hungry before his next food delivery arrived. 

She helped me put my life back together. It sounds so simple but sometimes getting a call from her to check on me was all I needed. 

In addition to her concern for her clients, Rio has really missed working closely alongside her colleagues over the last year. She has a very tight-knit team and finds their support invaluable during difficult days, especially as she often has to deal with quite traumatic situations.  

Her team clearly think the world of her too, “Rio is a just total star in all ways. She’s an amazing Support Worker and goes to the ends of the earth for her clients! She goes way beyond her job spec and is a fearless articulate speaker and advocate for the people we support.” 

On top of her dedication to supporting vulnerable people in the community, Rio is a keen sportsperson and loves taking part in a diverse range of sports that help her de-stress, such as paddle boarding, outdoor swimming, running, and going to the gym every single day.  

This May, Rio will be taking on the #runforheroes challenge.  Will you join her?

It's soooooo easy to get involved 👇

🏃‍♀️ Run, roll, walk, cycle, swim (or even climb!) 5k
💸 Donate £5 to us, supporting homeless people across London
🤝 Nominate 5 friends to do the same!

You can do your 5k anywhere, anytime, with anyone! It’s all about getting out and feeling good while you’re doing it! 🙌

Are you in? Gets started up now 👉

Sign up to run for SHP Heroes