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connect THE MAGAZINE OF THE HOMELESSNESS SECTOR

CLIENT INVOLVEMENT

REWARDING PARTICIPATION

YOUNG FORCES FOR CHANGE

ENABLING CHANGES

How should service users be rewarded for their participation in developing services?

The National Youth Reference Group explains why young people need to be involved in policy and practice development

How St Mungo’s are using peer research as a starting point to improve services...

8-9

12-13

24

CONNECT AUTUMN 2009 | WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK


SPECIALIST SUPPORT SERVICES

©Robert Davidson

CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

upfront

HOMELESS LINK OFFERS A CHOICE OF SPECIALIST SUPPORT SERVICES, RANGING FROM BESPOKE CONSULTANCY PACKAGES TO TAILORED IN-HOUSE TRAINING.

Last year, at our conference,

consultations would envy our having such an insightful

the inspirational Joanne

and constructive set of comments to report on.

Page from New York told us

As Paul points out, the challenge for the rest of us is to

how the Fortune Society had

make sure people with this experience of homelessness

reached a point where 8 of

are given more opportunities for their voices to be heard.

10 of their staff had come through using their services. They work with people who have come out of the

For example, we can help you to complete your MOPP, provide advice around the revised QAF, undertake an independent review of services, consult with staff and service users or lead on strategy development. We are also constantly looking to develop new courses to meet the needs of the homeless sector. Courses available in house include: • Working with the Revised QAF (New) • Personalisation in the Homelessness Sector (New) • Using the Outcomes Star If you would like to know more about our services and how Homeless Link can help your organisation to develop, please contact Kirsty Buggins, Manager; Consultancy and Training on 020 7960 3012, kirsty.buggins@homelesslink.org.uk or go to our website: www.homeless.org.uk/developyourservice/Consultancy www.homeless.org.uk/developyourservice/training

toughest correctional facilities, people who have nowhere else to go. With absolute conviction she described user involvement as the alchemy that turned their work to gold. This Connect looks at some of the many ways in which our sector, inspired by the same principles, is adding this powerful ingredient to our work. The golden results are insight, knowledge, commitment, great encouragement for service users and powerful advocacy. Gemma Shiel, spearheading the work to end rough

stresses why Tyneside Cyrenians’ ACE project – unique as it is made up of ex-service users – is integral to the work in its regular contact at a street level. Simon Cribbens from the Greater London Authority (GLA) and Homeless Link’s Paul Anderson talk about the

EDITORIAL Editors Michelle Doust & Gill Perkins Editorial Panel Paul Anderson, Ben Dickenson, Helen Mathie & Lisa Reed.

on the Mayor of London’s draft Housing Strategy.

BE IN THE NEXT ISSUE! In the next issue we’re exploring how organisations can make positive changes to their services whether it’s changing the use of space; staff culture or approaching different levels of client motivation in a new way. What changes are you making to implement personalisation? Have you changed the way you work to involve the local community? Share your experiences with us by emailing: editor@homelesslink.org.uk before 30 October. www.homeless.org.uk/connect

either hard to talk about or difficult to resolve; such as bullying within hostels, and women’s experience of services. In this method there is inherent trust and understanding. He explains this is what makes peer exactly what they really think which means you receive excellent qualitative feedback. Simone Helleren & Athol Halle from Groundswell point out that people will get involved if it taps into something they newsletter or getting in the kitchen to make sure those sausages do not get burnt. Since Groundswell’s research across the country consistently says that people “want to help other people experiencing homelessness” and “want to give something back” it’s clear where to start! It’s been clear to us all in our work at Homeless Link

The magazine of the homelessness sector

SUBSCRIPTIONS To find out how you can subscribe or take out additional subscriptions to CONNECT please email: connect@homelesslink.org.uk

powerful peer research is in addressing issues that are

care about – it might be interviewing staff, producing a

including a significant fall in evictions from hostels. She

DESIGN Designer John-Paul Sykes Cover Photo Michelle Doust

Andy Williams from St Mungo’s highlights how

research so effective; clients feel comfortable in saying

sleeping in Newcastle, describes their successes so far,

CONNECT

WELCOME

great policy value of the first service user consultation The people offered insights from their own experience of homelessness, but also stepped back from this to take a wider view on wider policy issues. Many committee clerks going home after listening to grumpy community

that the more and more we hear the voice of people who know about homelessness because of their own experience, the more impact the influence on ministers, officials and service change. We know we have more to do. We also know that to end homelessness we are going to need that alchemy that turns what we currently do into gold. Jenny Edwards Chief Executive, Homeless Link

in this issue NEWS What’s new?

4

COMMENT You’re barred Rewarding service user involvement

6 8

FEATURES Why service user involvement matters Young forces for change Get involved! The key that opens new doors Templates for success Y involve me? Sharing best practice on client involvement Engaging in policy matters…

10 12 14 15 16 18 20 21

Meaningful occupations, independent lives Involving clients, enabling changes Shaping the future of day centres Been there, done that Getting tenants voices heard

22 24 25 26 27

INSPIRED Young homeless people speak out

28

PEOPLE From street to home Ready for work No one left out in the North East I shot Frank Zappa

30 31 32 34

WHAT’S ON WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

3


SPECIALIST SUPPORT SERVICES

©Robert Davidson

CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

upfront

HOMELESS LINK OFFERS A CHOICE OF SPECIALIST SUPPORT SERVICES, RANGING FROM BESPOKE CONSULTANCY PACKAGES TO TAILORED IN-HOUSE TRAINING.

Last year, at our conference,

consultations would envy our having such an insightful

the inspirational Joanne

and constructive set of comments to report on.

Page from New York told us

As Paul points out, the challenge for the rest of us is to

how the Fortune Society had

make sure people with this experience of homelessness

reached a point where 8 of

are given more opportunities for their voices to be heard.

10 of their staff had come through using their services. They work with people who have come out of the

For example, we can help you to complete your MOPP, provide advice around the revised QAF, undertake an independent review of services, consult with staff and service users or lead on strategy development. We are also constantly looking to develop new courses to meet the needs of the homeless sector. Courses available in house include: • Working with the Revised QAF (New) • Personalisation in the Homelessness Sector (New) • Using the Outcomes Star If you would like to know more about our services and how Homeless Link can help your organisation to develop, please contact Kirsty Buggins, Manager; Consultancy and Training on 020 7960 3012, kirsty.buggins@homelesslink.org.uk or go to our website: www.homeless.org.uk/developyourservice/Consultancy www.homeless.org.uk/developyourservice/training

toughest correctional facilities, people who have nowhere else to go. With absolute conviction she described user involvement as the alchemy that turned their work to gold. This Connect looks at some of the many ways in which our sector, inspired by the same principles, is adding this powerful ingredient to our work. The golden results are insight, knowledge, commitment, great encouragement for service users and powerful advocacy. Gemma Shiel, spearheading the work to end rough

stresses why Tyneside Cyrenians’ ACE project – unique as it is made up of ex-service users – is integral to the work in its regular contact at a street level. Simon Cribbens from the Greater London Authority (GLA) and Homeless Link’s Paul Anderson talk about the

EDITORIAL Editors Michelle Doust & Gill Perkins Editorial Panel Paul Anderson, Ben Dickenson, Helen Mathie & Lisa Reed.

on the Mayor of London’s draft Housing Strategy.

BE IN THE NEXT ISSUE! In the next issue we’re exploring how organisations can make positive changes to their services whether it’s changing the use of space; staff culture or approaching different levels of client motivation in a new way. What changes are you making to implement personalisation? Have you changed the way you work to involve the local community? Share your experiences with us by emailing: editor@homelesslink.org.uk before 30 October. www.homeless.org.uk/connect

either hard to talk about or difficult to resolve; such as bullying within hostels, and women’s experience of services. In this method there is inherent trust and understanding. He explains this is what makes peer exactly what they really think which means you receive excellent qualitative feedback. Simone Helleren & Athol Halle from Groundswell point out that people will get involved if it taps into something they newsletter or getting in the kitchen to make sure those sausages do not get burnt. Since Groundswell’s research across the country consistently says that people “want to help other people experiencing homelessness” and “want to give something back” it’s clear where to start! It’s been clear to us all in our work at Homeless Link

The magazine of the homelessness sector

SUBSCRIPTIONS To find out how you can subscribe or take out additional subscriptions to CONNECT please email: connect@homelesslink.org.uk

powerful peer research is in addressing issues that are

care about – it might be interviewing staff, producing a

including a significant fall in evictions from hostels. She

DESIGN Designer John-Paul Sykes Cover Photo Michelle Doust

Andy Williams from St Mungo’s highlights how

research so effective; clients feel comfortable in saying

sleeping in Newcastle, describes their successes so far,

CONNECT

WELCOME

great policy value of the first service user consultation The people offered insights from their own experience of homelessness, but also stepped back from this to take a wider view on wider policy issues. Many committee clerks going home after listening to grumpy community

that the more and more we hear the voice of people who know about homelessness because of their own experience, the more impact the influence on ministers, officials and service change. We know we have more to do. We also know that to end homelessness we are going to need that alchemy that turns what we currently do into gold. Jenny Edwards Chief Executive, Homeless Link

in this issue NEWS What’s new?

4

COMMENT You’re barred Rewarding service user involvement

6 8

FEATURES Why service user involvement matters Young forces for change Get involved! The key that opens new doors Templates for success Y involve me? Sharing best practice on client involvement Engaging in policy matters…

10 12 14 15 16 18 20 21

Meaningful occupations, independent lives Involving clients, enabling changes Shaping the future of day centres Been there, done that Getting tenants voices heard

22 24 25 26 27

INSPIRED Young homeless people speak out

28

PEOPLE From street to home Ready for work No one left out in the North East I shot Frank Zappa

30 31 32 34

WHAT’S ON WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

3


news

CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

latest sector news

news

HOMELESS LINK WELCOMES THE FOLLOWING NEW MEMBERS: Action for Refugees in Lewisham Bradford City Council Reading Borough Council Westminster City Council Nottingham City Council Threshold Shropshire Council Shrewsbury Ark

IT’S BEEN 3 MONTHS SINCE THE LAST ISSUE OF CONNECT.

Kirklees Council

AS ALWAYS, THERE HAS BEEN A LOT GOING ON.

Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council

HERE’S A SNAPSHOT…

The Ukraine team celebrates winning the 2009 homeless world cup in Milan. Photo Manuela Cigliutti

Rethink - Central Point Guildford Borough Council Broxtowe Youth Homelessness

JULY 2009

AUGUST 2009

The Amber Foundation

05.08.09

02.09.09

13.09.09

SECTOR NEWS

SECTOR NEWS

SECTOR NEWS

East London Housing Partnership

Thames Reach backs Conservative

Ukraine crowned 2009 homeless

joins forces with rough sleeping

Party plans to increase tax on

world cup champions in Milan

organisations such as Homeless Link,

super-strength lagers and ciders.

(above). For the full results, see

Thames Reach, Look Ahead and

The charity has been lobbying

www.homelessworldcup.org

Providence Row to tackle rough

government and the drinks

sleeping. For more information go to

industry for the last four years in a

the ELHP web site www.elhp.org.uk

bid to tackle these problem drinks

07.08.09 SECTOR NEWS The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) reported that eleven housing York Arc Light hold up their cheque after winning this year’s Michael Whippman Award. Photo Robert Davidson

Bedford Borough Council

SEPTEMBER 2009

which have killed thousands of homeless and marginalised people across the UK since their introduction onto the market in the 1980s.

organisations have helped to

10.09.09

develop new guidance on

POLICY

housing services to refugees and

Homeless Link responds to the

08.07.09

13.07.09

new migrants, through a two-year

consultation on the removal of the

SECTOR NEWS

SECTOR NEWS

project called ‘Opening Doors.’

excess payment in Local Housing

Congratulations!

Media Trust announces launch

It developed the guidance

Allowance. We are concerned

– The Base, Streetlife in Blackpool

of Community Voices, a two-year

together with the Housing

about the impact that this removal

wins the coveted John Laing

project that aims to inspire, engage

Associations’ Charitable Trust (hact).

will have on individuals and families.

Charitable Day Centre of the Year

and support disadvantaged

www.cih.org/policy/openingdoors

While we appreciate the need to

Award 2009

and isolated communities across

– York Arc Light wins the Michael

England to get their voices heard

Whippman Award 2009 (above)

through digital media. Register your

Check out the video on You Tube:

interest at www.mediatrust.org/

http://bit.ly/Y8vSg

communityvoices

24.08.09 POLICY The Making Every Adult Matter Coalition launched its new website. MEAM is a coalition of four national charities – Clinks, DrugScope, Homeless Link and Mind – formed to influence policy and services for adults with multiple needs and

make savings to the public purse, we feel that savings are unlikely to be achieved through this change and will be at the expense of many individuals who face a daily struggle to make ends meet. We call on the DWP to examine all the available options open to it before pursuing the proposed cuts.

14.09.09 RESEARCH

Supporting People in Suffolk Global Ministry of Champions - AoG UK Barnardo’s Crashpad Preston City Council Southend-On-Sea Borough Council Access Underwriting Ltd Twenty-fifth Avenue Housing Support & Advice Research and Information Services

CLG released national statistics

City of Toronto - Housing & Homelessness Support

showing that the number of house-

Derby City Council

holds accepted as homeless is down

Byker Bridge Housing Association

32% from the same time last year.

Wayfarer Project Homelessness in Australia

15.09.09

Goals UK cic

POLICY

St Vincent De Paul Society - Tyne Central Council

Homeless Link responds to the Tenant Services Authority’s new discussion paper, Building a new Regulatory Framework. To find out more about the TSA see their article on page 27 18.09.09 SECTOR NEWS The Big issue comes of age celebrating its 18th birthday! The Big Issue’s Founder, John Bird, calls on Gordon Brown to implement a homelessness prevention strategy which includes a temporary moratorium on repossessions.

Bristol Foundation Housing One Support City of Lincoln Council Winchester Churches Nightshelter YMCA - Tees Valley Cambridge City Council Borough Council of Kings Lynn & West Norfolk Target Housing Leeds Accommodation Forum (LAF) Impact Housing Association Ltd Philadelphia Committee to END Homelessness Webber Street Day Centre York Road Project Barka UK Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council Haringey churches winter shelter

exclusions. www.meam.org.uk 4

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

5


news

CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

latest sector news

news

HOMELESS LINK WELCOMES THE FOLLOWING NEW MEMBERS: Action for Refugees in Lewisham Bradford City Council Reading Borough Council Westminster City Council Nottingham City Council Threshold Shropshire Council Shrewsbury Ark

IT’S BEEN 3 MONTHS SINCE THE LAST ISSUE OF CONNECT.

Kirklees Council

AS ALWAYS, THERE HAS BEEN A LOT GOING ON.

Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council

HERE’S A SNAPSHOT…

The Ukraine team celebrates winning the 2009 homeless world cup in Milan. Photo Manuela Cigliutti

Rethink - Central Point Guildford Borough Council Broxtowe Youth Homelessness

JULY 2009

AUGUST 2009

The Amber Foundation

05.08.09

02.09.09

13.09.09

SECTOR NEWS

SECTOR NEWS

SECTOR NEWS

East London Housing Partnership

Thames Reach backs Conservative

Ukraine crowned 2009 homeless

joins forces with rough sleeping

Party plans to increase tax on

world cup champions in Milan

organisations such as Homeless Link,

super-strength lagers and ciders.

(above). For the full results, see

Thames Reach, Look Ahead and

The charity has been lobbying

www.homelessworldcup.org

Providence Row to tackle rough

government and the drinks

sleeping. For more information go to

industry for the last four years in a

the ELHP web site www.elhp.org.uk

bid to tackle these problem drinks

07.08.09 SECTOR NEWS The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) reported that eleven housing York Arc Light hold up their cheque after winning this year’s Michael Whippman Award. Photo Robert Davidson

Bedford Borough Council

SEPTEMBER 2009

which have killed thousands of homeless and marginalised people across the UK since their introduction onto the market in the 1980s.

organisations have helped to

10.09.09

develop new guidance on

POLICY

housing services to refugees and

Homeless Link responds to the

08.07.09

13.07.09

new migrants, through a two-year

consultation on the removal of the

SECTOR NEWS

SECTOR NEWS

project called ‘Opening Doors.’

excess payment in Local Housing

Congratulations!

Media Trust announces launch

It developed the guidance

Allowance. We are concerned

– The Base, Streetlife in Blackpool

of Community Voices, a two-year

together with the Housing

about the impact that this removal

wins the coveted John Laing

project that aims to inspire, engage

Associations’ Charitable Trust (hact).

will have on individuals and families.

Charitable Day Centre of the Year

and support disadvantaged

www.cih.org/policy/openingdoors

While we appreciate the need to

Award 2009

and isolated communities across

– York Arc Light wins the Michael

England to get their voices heard

Whippman Award 2009 (above)

through digital media. Register your

Check out the video on You Tube:

interest at www.mediatrust.org/

http://bit.ly/Y8vSg

communityvoices

24.08.09 POLICY The Making Every Adult Matter Coalition launched its new website. MEAM is a coalition of four national charities – Clinks, DrugScope, Homeless Link and Mind – formed to influence policy and services for adults with multiple needs and

make savings to the public purse, we feel that savings are unlikely to be achieved through this change and will be at the expense of many individuals who face a daily struggle to make ends meet. We call on the DWP to examine all the available options open to it before pursuing the proposed cuts.

14.09.09 RESEARCH

Supporting People in Suffolk Global Ministry of Champions - AoG UK Barnardo’s Crashpad Preston City Council Southend-On-Sea Borough Council Access Underwriting Ltd Twenty-fifth Avenue Housing Support & Advice Research and Information Services

CLG released national statistics

City of Toronto - Housing & Homelessness Support

showing that the number of house-

Derby City Council

holds accepted as homeless is down

Byker Bridge Housing Association

32% from the same time last year.

Wayfarer Project Homelessness in Australia

15.09.09

Goals UK cic

POLICY

St Vincent De Paul Society - Tyne Central Council

Homeless Link responds to the Tenant Services Authority’s new discussion paper, Building a new Regulatory Framework. To find out more about the TSA see their article on page 27 18.09.09 SECTOR NEWS The Big issue comes of age celebrating its 18th birthday! The Big Issue’s Founder, John Bird, calls on Gordon Brown to implement a homelessness prevention strategy which includes a temporary moratorium on repossessions.

Bristol Foundation Housing One Support City of Lincoln Council Winchester Churches Nightshelter YMCA - Tees Valley Cambridge City Council Borough Council of Kings Lynn & West Norfolk Target Housing Leeds Accommodation Forum (LAF) Impact Housing Association Ltd Philadelphia Committee to END Homelessness Webber Street Day Centre York Road Project Barka UK Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council Haringey churches winter shelter

exclusions. www.meam.org.uk 4

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

5


COMMENT

CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

As concern, outrage and debate prevail over the role of

Photo Robert Davidson

YOU’RE BARRED

the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), Alice Evans (LEFT), Head of Policy Analysis at Homeless Link, looks at what the potential implications are for homelessness and related charities.

At present, the extent to which we as a

Last year’s Michael Whippman Awards

sector will need to register staff and

winners were a group of homeless people

volunteers with the ISA is unclear.

from Chester volunteering within a local

As I write this article, it is hard to

All adults working with vulnerable adults,

avoid coverage of the Independent

as defined by the Safeguarding Vulnerable

Safeguarding Authority (ISA). Children’s

Adults Act 2006 and children will have to

authors are up in arms, “helpful”

be registered if they are carrying out

A core focus of everyone’s work in recent

parents are furious and Government

regulated or controlled activity. Regulated

years has been to support people who are

has conceded certain revisions to

activity is defined as frequent, intensive or

homeless to get ready for work. Central to

the scheme.

overnight contact, including that which

this work has been the focus on supporting

takes place in a specified place with a

people who are, or have recently been,

With both volunteering and employment,

defined group of vulnerable adults and all

homeless to become employed within the

there is a risk that the requirement to register

children. Controlled activity is defined as

sector and related sectors. Very often it is our

under the ISA scheme will discourage, if not

frequent or intensive support work in more

sectors who can give people a first chance

actively prevent, people from taking these

general settings such as the NHS. Individuals

to work again.

important steps.

In some instances the distance travelled by

It is impossible, within the constraints of this

an individual to become job ready will have

article, to outline all the issues and concerns

safeguards are put in place”.

been immense. To then apply for and be

associated with the scheme, for example

offered a job is an incredible achievement.

the impact on organisations getting staff

The importance of protecting and

If their histories and lack of employment

ISA registered. We hope to work with the

safeguarding vulnerable adults is essential.

history result in them being barred, the

ISA to avoid potentially significant

However, as with everything, there is a

impact on that individual could be

ramifications for the very individuals

balance to be struck. Homeless Link has

devastating. They will need to overcome

that it is setting out to protect.

written to the ISA raising concerns and

yet another hurdle, often with high levels

seeking clarification on certain points.

of support from staff.

Yet it is important to remind ourselves of its origins. The Bichard Inquiry was set up to look at the situation that led to the Soham murders and [found] “errors, omissions, failures and shortcomings which are deeply shocking”. As a result the ISA was set up. It went live in January 2009, but the projected 11.5 million individuals who will be covered do not have to be registered until summer 2010. The scheme combines three separate vetting and barring lists as well as information from the Criminal Records Bureau. This includes information from the Protection of Vulnerable Adults (PoVA)

who are barred will not be able to work in regulated activity, but will be able to work in controlled activity “only if sufficient

COMMENT

riding school for disabled children with the support of a paid worker. Volunteering is an important first step towards employment or contributing something back to society.

list. Dependent on history and offending behaviour, individuals will be placed onto a barred list or permitted to work in various sectors.

6

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

If you wish to discuss the ISA in more detail contact alice.evans@homelesslink.org.uk

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

7


COMMENT

CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

As concern, outrage and debate prevail over the role of

Photo Robert Davidson

YOU’RE BARRED

the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), Alice Evans (LEFT), Head of Policy Analysis at Homeless Link, looks at what the potential implications are for homelessness and related charities.

At present, the extent to which we as a

Last year’s Michael Whippman Awards

sector will need to register staff and

winners were a group of homeless people

volunteers with the ISA is unclear.

from Chester volunteering within a local

As I write this article, it is hard to

All adults working with vulnerable adults,

avoid coverage of the Independent

as defined by the Safeguarding Vulnerable

Safeguarding Authority (ISA). Children’s

Adults Act 2006 and children will have to

authors are up in arms, “helpful”

be registered if they are carrying out

A core focus of everyone’s work in recent

parents are furious and Government

regulated or controlled activity. Regulated

years has been to support people who are

has conceded certain revisions to

activity is defined as frequent, intensive or

homeless to get ready for work. Central to

the scheme.

overnight contact, including that which

this work has been the focus on supporting

takes place in a specified place with a

people who are, or have recently been,

With both volunteering and employment,

defined group of vulnerable adults and all

homeless to become employed within the

there is a risk that the requirement to register

children. Controlled activity is defined as

sector and related sectors. Very often it is our

under the ISA scheme will discourage, if not

frequent or intensive support work in more

sectors who can give people a first chance

actively prevent, people from taking these

general settings such as the NHS. Individuals

to work again.

important steps.

In some instances the distance travelled by

It is impossible, within the constraints of this

an individual to become job ready will have

article, to outline all the issues and concerns

safeguards are put in place”.

been immense. To then apply for and be

associated with the scheme, for example

offered a job is an incredible achievement.

the impact on organisations getting staff

The importance of protecting and

If their histories and lack of employment

ISA registered. We hope to work with the

safeguarding vulnerable adults is essential.

history result in them being barred, the

ISA to avoid potentially significant

However, as with everything, there is a

impact on that individual could be

ramifications for the very individuals

balance to be struck. Homeless Link has

devastating. They will need to overcome

that it is setting out to protect.

written to the ISA raising concerns and

yet another hurdle, often with high levels

seeking clarification on certain points.

of support from staff.

Yet it is important to remind ourselves of its origins. The Bichard Inquiry was set up to look at the situation that led to the Soham murders and [found] “errors, omissions, failures and shortcomings which are deeply shocking”. As a result the ISA was set up. It went live in January 2009, but the projected 11.5 million individuals who will be covered do not have to be registered until summer 2010. The scheme combines three separate vetting and barring lists as well as information from the Criminal Records Bureau. This includes information from the Protection of Vulnerable Adults (PoVA)

who are barred will not be able to work in regulated activity, but will be able to work in controlled activity “only if sufficient

COMMENT

riding school for disabled children with the support of a paid worker. Volunteering is an important first step towards employment or contributing something back to society.

list. Dependent on history and offending behaviour, individuals will be placed onto a barred list or permitted to work in various sectors.

6

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

If you wish to discuss the ISA in more detail contact alice.evans@homelesslink.org.uk

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

7


COMMENT

CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

HOW SHOULD SERVICE USERS BE REWARDED FOR THEIR PARTICIPATION IN DEVELOPING SERVICES?

COMMENT

The main challenge with participatory work is engaging (and retaining) service users and making their engagement meaningful. Given that our services are set in a context where young people are struggling to meet their basic needs, remuneration through vouchers is appropriate and effective, as monetary payment can affect benefit payments in ways that are undesirable. A range of opportunities, such as learning and accreditation, portfolio-building and work experience add value to the process of participating in Angus Kerr Project Co-ordinator on Centrepoint’s Youth Educators Programme (YEP)

service delivery. However, the biggest reward for service users is that, as a result of their involvement, people on all levels actually change the way things happen; then service users feel they are making a real and lasting

When aiming for meaningful service user

How do you think rewards should be given?

involvement; how can we ensure that people

Is it responsible to give money to vulnerable clients

feel they and the time they’ve spent are valued?

or are vouchers better? Are other rewards such as

We want to discover your views on how service

training, work experience and references more

users should be rewarded for their participation

beneficial? What are the main issues? Does it make

in developing services. In this issue Crisis,

a different if the service users are considered to be

Centrepoint and the Salvation Army offer their

‘working’ or volunteering? How have you / your

views and opinions. We will be following this up

service users responded to being offered incentives

with an online debate in the autumn.

for your opinions?

difference. Certainly, service users should be involved in the development and, where possible, delivery of services, projects and enterprises. This avoids assumptions, encourages ownership, builds relationships and builds self esteem. A carefully designed, clearly presented programme of rewards can enhance that process and more. Effective reward programmes address issues that all of us, not just service users, face: particularly the desire to spend money on things we want, but that we may not need and the

assistants or helping out with events or in head office)

Steve Coles Social Enterprise Development Manager at the Salvation Army

Reward schemes need to be comprehensive and

and then we just pay expenses so as to not affect

cover a number of objectives and areas. From

benefit entitlements. For regular work, such as becoming a peer researcher or taking photographs at events, we tend to offer payment and the client is given terms and conditions, just like any other member of staff. Sadly, benefits rules do make payments problematic and charities are right to be concerned about this Ligia Teixeira Crisis

clear information and advice is needed and better

difficulties of saving for the future.

Tameside’s Supporting People’ Service User Involvement Strategy Tameside recognises, values and rewards the contribution of service users in a number of ways, including: • Introducing systems that ensure feedback from service users is fed into the Supporting People Strategy review • Feeding service users preferred means of communication into the Communications Strategy

vouchers that can be cashed in for tools or leisure activities to providing training and from delegating responsibility to offering free lunches, each of these has its place, but are best used in conjunction with others and in a culture that both manages expectations and encourages engagement. A particular concern is that there is a danger inherent in introducing rewards into any aspect of life and work

liaison with Job Centre Plus to prevent breaching

• Choosing only the highest quality venues and refreshments when hosting events

benefit conditions.

• Inviting service users to key events such as launches

replace ‘social norms’. Having introduced rewards, it

such as consultations or focus groups, we provide

Ultimately, however, the role that getting clients

• Free training for service users

may be extremely difficult to undo and to reintroduce

a cash gift or voucher in appreciation. This is not

nvolved can play in helping them gain confidence,

made in payment for work, so there is no risk of

skills and prepare for employment needs to be

benefits being compromised.

recognised within the benefits system - Crisis will

• ‘Paying’ peer reviewers for their time - normally consisting of a £10 gift voucher of the user’s choice per half day to attend events and meetings, to deliver training and to produce work plans – as above

When Crisis involves clients in one off activities,

We also encourage people to volunteer with us as part of developing their skills, confidence or preparing for employment (as trainees in our cafes, teaching

8

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

continue to campaign for such reform.

• Organising transport and paying for transport costs, as appropriate

in order to change behaviour, that is that ‘market norms’

a behaviour or activity as one worth doing for social reward only. If you would like us to contact you when our new online discussion forum is live, please e mail editor@homelesslink.org.uk

• Providing child care facilities, where appropriate • Recording thanks for contributions made by service users, both individually and in appropriate publications WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

9


COMMENT

CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

HOW SHOULD SERVICE USERS BE REWARDED FOR THEIR PARTICIPATION IN DEVELOPING SERVICES?

COMMENT

The main challenge with participatory work is engaging (and retaining) service users and making their engagement meaningful. Given that our services are set in a context where young people are struggling to meet their basic needs, remuneration through vouchers is appropriate and effective, as monetary payment can affect benefit payments in ways that are undesirable. A range of opportunities, such as learning and accreditation, portfolio-building and work experience add value to the process of participating in Angus Kerr Project Co-ordinator on Centrepoint’s Youth Educators Programme (YEP)

service delivery. However, the biggest reward for service users is that, as a result of their involvement, people on all levels actually change the way things happen; then service users feel they are making a real and lasting

When aiming for meaningful service user

How do you think rewards should be given?

involvement; how can we ensure that people

Is it responsible to give money to vulnerable clients

feel they and the time they’ve spent are valued?

or are vouchers better? Are other rewards such as

We want to discover your views on how service

training, work experience and references more

users should be rewarded for their participation

beneficial? What are the main issues? Does it make

in developing services. In this issue Crisis,

a different if the service users are considered to be

Centrepoint and the Salvation Army offer their

‘working’ or volunteering? How have you / your

views and opinions. We will be following this up

service users responded to being offered incentives

with an online debate in the autumn.

for your opinions?

difference. Certainly, service users should be involved in the development and, where possible, delivery of services, projects and enterprises. This avoids assumptions, encourages ownership, builds relationships and builds self esteem. A carefully designed, clearly presented programme of rewards can enhance that process and more. Effective reward programmes address issues that all of us, not just service users, face: particularly the desire to spend money on things we want, but that we may not need and the

assistants or helping out with events or in head office)

Steve Coles Social Enterprise Development Manager at the Salvation Army

Reward schemes need to be comprehensive and

and then we just pay expenses so as to not affect

cover a number of objectives and areas. From

benefit entitlements. For regular work, such as becoming a peer researcher or taking photographs at events, we tend to offer payment and the client is given terms and conditions, just like any other member of staff. Sadly, benefits rules do make payments problematic and charities are right to be concerned about this Ligia Teixeira Crisis

clear information and advice is needed and better

difficulties of saving for the future.

Tameside’s Supporting People’ Service User Involvement Strategy Tameside recognises, values and rewards the contribution of service users in a number of ways, including: • Introducing systems that ensure feedback from service users is fed into the Supporting People Strategy review • Feeding service users preferred means of communication into the Communications Strategy

vouchers that can be cashed in for tools or leisure activities to providing training and from delegating responsibility to offering free lunches, each of these has its place, but are best used in conjunction with others and in a culture that both manages expectations and encourages engagement. A particular concern is that there is a danger inherent in introducing rewards into any aspect of life and work

liaison with Job Centre Plus to prevent breaching

• Choosing only the highest quality venues and refreshments when hosting events

benefit conditions.

• Inviting service users to key events such as launches

replace ‘social norms’. Having introduced rewards, it

such as consultations or focus groups, we provide

Ultimately, however, the role that getting clients

• Free training for service users

may be extremely difficult to undo and to reintroduce

a cash gift or voucher in appreciation. This is not

nvolved can play in helping them gain confidence,

made in payment for work, so there is no risk of

skills and prepare for employment needs to be

benefits being compromised.

recognised within the benefits system - Crisis will

• ‘Paying’ peer reviewers for their time - normally consisting of a £10 gift voucher of the user’s choice per half day to attend events and meetings, to deliver training and to produce work plans – as above

When Crisis involves clients in one off activities,

We also encourage people to volunteer with us as part of developing their skills, confidence or preparing for employment (as trainees in our cafes, teaching

8

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

continue to campaign for such reform.

• Organising transport and paying for transport costs, as appropriate

in order to change behaviour, that is that ‘market norms’

a behaviour or activity as one worth doing for social reward only. If you would like us to contact you when our new online discussion forum is live, please e mail editor@homelesslink.org.uk

• Providing child care facilities, where appropriate • Recording thanks for contributions made by service users, both individually and in appropriate publications WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

9


CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

WHY CLIENT INVOLVEMENT?

To begin with involving people might seem impossible

So think about a range of ways for people to

and a frustrating waste of time for both worker and

give their voice. “Everyone’s got something

client. With the most chaotic clients it might be the

different that they can give.”

simplest things: encouraging a client to decide between morning or afternoon meetings with their key worker. Then, as clients become more able to take in information and make decisions, more complicated and risky opportunities should be available: learning about the benefits system, and encouraging people to fill in their own forms.

up burnt sausages – every morning he complained and nothing got done for years. The hostel ended up having a successful client run shop, but that only flourished after they sorted the sausages. You have services have a strong track record of being let down

bothered and that gets me off the hook rather than

by people. So if you want to break that cycle, before

going into long explanations. But I am bothered and

you do anything else - stop burning the sausages! People will get involved if it taps into something they

Our tendency can be to fill in someone’s forms for them,

care about – it might be interviewing staff, producing a

thinking we are being helpful, but ultimately will that best

newsletter or getting in the kitchen to make sure those

enable them to stand on their own two feet again? Give

sausages do not get burnt. Our research across the

a man a fish, and he has a meal, give a man a life skills

country consistently says that people “want to help

class in personal budgeting and cooking, and he can

other people experiencing homelessness” and “want

go down to Tesco and make a Tuna salad.

to give something back”. So people will get involved if they are offered the opportunities in the areas that they care about.

own life again, and better equips you for when you are

Moving involvement out of your service and

eventually ready to zoom off into the sunset.

into the community

“...because a lot of people that actually do become homeless or are homeless tend to lack some form of ... mental state where they know what to do when

The question of ‘why client involvement’ comes

Try thinking about delivering your service without

they are actually living in their own flat... teach

back to why we provide services for homeless

involvement: “I am going to support this person to be

people how to pay bills on time and how to be...

people at all. Simone Helleren & Athol Halle

as independent as possible and I am going to prevent

you know what I mean, how to be a person in a way.

from Groundswell review how ultimately most

them from being actively involved in their own care?”

How to live.”

organisations working for vulnerable people

It just does not make sense! So the ‘why’ is the easy bit,

have it at their heart to support people to live

it’s the ‘how’ that can be tricky.

Deliver a quality service You need to consult everyone with expertise in order

Most local authorities are creating new opportunities for local residents to get involved in community initiatives left right and centre. Your projects and your clients are a part of the community too, so encouraging people to get engaged with their communities, is an extra level of involvement, another opportunity to contribute. Involvement is about giving people the chance to make a contribution: to their own care, to their service or to their community. Giving someone the opportunity to give something back is the most powerful thing you

Client Involvement or participation is not some

to create a quality service. That means managers who

management speak fad – it has a long and illustrious

have the removed overview, frontline staff with their day

history with highlights including: the wonderfully named

to day interactions with clients, and, of course, clients

‘Alleged Lunatics Friends Society’, a campaigning

themselves, who often know best what they really need.

Hot Tip: We recommend you check out Mike Seal’s

organisation formed by ex-patients, who in 1845

Involvement is about creating consultation approaches

new book on client involvement in supported housing

extricated the poet John Clare from a Victorian

and decision making structures that enables all these

“Not about us, without us.”

asylum; and of course a central role in the civil and

different expertises to combine.

welfare rights movements of the 1960s.

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

hostel he was in where every morning they would serve

it really embarrassing and I usually say I can’t be

adds up to more time back into the driver’s seat of your

10

A trainer with Groundswell, Jimmy Carlson, tells of a

to presume that people who end up in homelessness

Whether simple or complex, each of these experiences

as independently as possible.

Start from what people care about.

“I don’t do anything by myself. It’s pathetic. I find

I don’t want these feelings over my head.”

Peer research in action. Photo Ivor Prickett

FEATURES

can do to support people on their journey out of homelessness.

If you would like to discuss delivering a client audit

A range of techniques is a good way to ensure a range

for your service, then get in touch. All quotes are

Client Involvement in layers

of voices are heard. If you are running a consultation

from Groundswell Peer Research projects.

One way to think about involvement is to look at it

on, say, the redesign of the dining room, if you just do an

Simone@groundswell.org.uk athol@groundswell.org.uk

in layers – starting with involvement in your own care,

open meeting, then only those confident to speak up

then involvement in the services you use and finally

will be heard. If you just do a written questionnaire, you

involvement in the wider community.

might exclude those with basic skills issues. WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

11


CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

WHY CLIENT INVOLVEMENT?

To begin with involving people might seem impossible

So think about a range of ways for people to

and a frustrating waste of time for both worker and

give their voice. “Everyone’s got something

client. With the most chaotic clients it might be the

different that they can give.”

simplest things: encouraging a client to decide between morning or afternoon meetings with their key worker. Then, as clients become more able to take in information and make decisions, more complicated and risky opportunities should be available: learning about the benefits system, and encouraging people to fill in their own forms.

up burnt sausages – every morning he complained and nothing got done for years. The hostel ended up having a successful client run shop, but that only flourished after they sorted the sausages. You have services have a strong track record of being let down

bothered and that gets me off the hook rather than

by people. So if you want to break that cycle, before

going into long explanations. But I am bothered and

you do anything else - stop burning the sausages! People will get involved if it taps into something they

Our tendency can be to fill in someone’s forms for them,

care about – it might be interviewing staff, producing a

thinking we are being helpful, but ultimately will that best

newsletter or getting in the kitchen to make sure those

enable them to stand on their own two feet again? Give

sausages do not get burnt. Our research across the

a man a fish, and he has a meal, give a man a life skills

country consistently says that people “want to help

class in personal budgeting and cooking, and he can

other people experiencing homelessness” and “want

go down to Tesco and make a Tuna salad.

to give something back”. So people will get involved if they are offered the opportunities in the areas that they care about.

own life again, and better equips you for when you are

Moving involvement out of your service and

eventually ready to zoom off into the sunset.

into the community

“...because a lot of people that actually do become homeless or are homeless tend to lack some form of ... mental state where they know what to do when

The question of ‘why client involvement’ comes

Try thinking about delivering your service without

they are actually living in their own flat... teach

back to why we provide services for homeless

involvement: “I am going to support this person to be

people how to pay bills on time and how to be...

people at all. Simone Helleren & Athol Halle

as independent as possible and I am going to prevent

you know what I mean, how to be a person in a way.

from Groundswell review how ultimately most

them from being actively involved in their own care?”

How to live.”

organisations working for vulnerable people

It just does not make sense! So the ‘why’ is the easy bit,

have it at their heart to support people to live

it’s the ‘how’ that can be tricky.

Deliver a quality service You need to consult everyone with expertise in order

Most local authorities are creating new opportunities for local residents to get involved in community initiatives left right and centre. Your projects and your clients are a part of the community too, so encouraging people to get engaged with their communities, is an extra level of involvement, another opportunity to contribute. Involvement is about giving people the chance to make a contribution: to their own care, to their service or to their community. Giving someone the opportunity to give something back is the most powerful thing you

Client Involvement or participation is not some

to create a quality service. That means managers who

management speak fad – it has a long and illustrious

have the removed overview, frontline staff with their day

history with highlights including: the wonderfully named

to day interactions with clients, and, of course, clients

‘Alleged Lunatics Friends Society’, a campaigning

themselves, who often know best what they really need.

Hot Tip: We recommend you check out Mike Seal’s

organisation formed by ex-patients, who in 1845

Involvement is about creating consultation approaches

new book on client involvement in supported housing

extricated the poet John Clare from a Victorian

and decision making structures that enables all these

“Not about us, without us.”

asylum; and of course a central role in the civil and

different expertises to combine.

welfare rights movements of the 1960s.

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

hostel he was in where every morning they would serve

it really embarrassing and I usually say I can’t be

adds up to more time back into the driver’s seat of your

10

A trainer with Groundswell, Jimmy Carlson, tells of a

to presume that people who end up in homelessness

Whether simple or complex, each of these experiences

as independently as possible.

Start from what people care about.

“I don’t do anything by myself. It’s pathetic. I find

I don’t want these feelings over my head.”

Peer research in action. Photo Ivor Prickett

FEATURES

can do to support people on their journey out of homelessness.

If you would like to discuss delivering a client audit

A range of techniques is a good way to ensure a range

for your service, then get in touch. All quotes are

Client Involvement in layers

of voices are heard. If you are running a consultation

from Groundswell Peer Research projects.

One way to think about involvement is to look at it

on, say, the redesign of the dining room, if you just do an

Simone@groundswell.org.uk athol@groundswell.org.uk

in layers – starting with involvement in your own care,

open meeting, then only those confident to speak up

then involvement in the services you use and finally

will be heard. If you just do a written questionnaire, you

involvement in the wider community.

might exclude those with basic skills issues. WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

11


FEATURES

CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

FEATURES

YOUNG FORCES FOR CHANGE Young people have a unique perspective that cannot be found elsewhere. Their ideas, commitment and energy are a force for change and can help improve the services for young people across the country. Tamzin Taylor-Rosser, coordinator of the

Members from the National Youth Reference Group strike a pose after a consultation at the CLG’s head office in London. Photo NYRG, St Basil’s

National Youth Reference Group (NYRG), looks at the importance of youth involvement in policy and practice development. Formed in 2008 the NYRG is made up of young people

Young people who have experienced homelessness, and

I love speaking out to a variety of people using my own

aged 16-25 from England, who have experienced or

used services, have a wisdom that those of us responsible

experiences in conferences. We also go to different

are currently experiencing homelessness. The project is

for planning and delivering services need to listen to if we

places around the country. It’s something I am

funded by the Department for Communities and Local

want to transform lives.”

passionate about and enjoy doing it.

6. Use as many forms of communication as possible 7. FEEDBACK is the key to ‘successful’ Involvement 8. Young people need to see the IMPACT of their involvement 9. REWARD young people for their involvement 10. REVIEW REVIEW REVIEW

Kaylie Coombes YWCA West Kent

NYRG’s perspective on what young people need

Young people from the NYRG have been a part of the

“The NYRG is about improving opportunities of

from organisations…

National Conversation, the initiative led by the TSA. The

Involvement for young people all over the country and

National Conversation provided the young people with

for me that is the key thing that will change the lives of

an opportunity to get involved in shaping new Housing

many who faces homelessness. I am really proud to be

Management Standards for Registered Providers.

members of NYRG, as I’m representing the young people

Government and is led by St Basils. To date there are 35 young people signed up to this initiative. They aretravelling all over the country influencing and impacting on Local Authorities and housing providers to increase opportunities for young people to be involved in housing–related issues and in developing new services for their peers. Iain Wright MP, formerly Minister with responsibility for homelessness, recognised the importance of young people’s involvement in matters that impacted on their lives. At the launch of the NYRG he said:

Having a National Conversation

“The National Conversation was a fantastic opportunity for us to say what is important to us and what housing associations need to improve, as well as what they are doing well. Feeding into National Conversation has given

“Each individual service knows what it does to support

us a chance to put our views across. It’s important to seek

a young person, but only the young person knows how it

the views of young people as we are the future”

felt, if it was at the right place and the right time, if it made

Kat McArdle NYRG Member

sense with what other agencies were doing, and if the combined effect actually helped them resolve their problems and move on to where they needed to be in life.

12

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

“I love getting involved because it gives me a great opportunity to help others and to learn new things.

at a National Level. NYRG has many benefits such as training, meeting many youths who are in the same situation as you and its also fun travelling around the country. To put it simple INVOLVEMENT IS POWER”. Alan Tien St Basils

The NYRG’s top 10 steps to success for organisations 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Take risks and involve us Find out HOW we want to be involved You need to be creative and flexible Be prepared to listen to us on an individual basis If something does not work don’t give up on us

• You need to be confident in our ability • You need to know that sometimes we know best • You need to support us with the RIGHT staff • You need to create opportunities and make them accessible • You need to communicate with us and enable us to communicate with you • You need to care about our lives • You need to remember involvement benefits us all • You need to offer us incentives • You need to get involved too

The National Youth Reference Group can also help and support your organisation. We are looking for organisations to submit “Good Practice Materials” on Youth Involvement. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity. Please contact nyrg@stbasils.org.uk.

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

13


FEATURES

CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

FEATURES

YOUNG FORCES FOR CHANGE Young people have a unique perspective that cannot be found elsewhere. Their ideas, commitment and energy are a force for change and can help improve the services for young people across the country. Tamzin Taylor-Rosser, coordinator of the

Members from the National Youth Reference Group strike a pose after a consultation at the CLG’s head office in London. Photo NYRG, St Basil’s

National Youth Reference Group (NYRG), looks at the importance of youth involvement in policy and practice development. Formed in 2008 the NYRG is made up of young people

Young people who have experienced homelessness, and

I love speaking out to a variety of people using my own

aged 16-25 from England, who have experienced or

used services, have a wisdom that those of us responsible

experiences in conferences. We also go to different

are currently experiencing homelessness. The project is

for planning and delivering services need to listen to if we

places around the country. It’s something I am

funded by the Department for Communities and Local

want to transform lives.”

passionate about and enjoy doing it.

6. Use as many forms of communication as possible 7. FEEDBACK is the key to ‘successful’ Involvement 8. Young people need to see the IMPACT of their involvement 9. REWARD young people for their involvement 10. REVIEW REVIEW REVIEW

Kaylie Coombes YWCA West Kent

NYRG’s perspective on what young people need

Young people from the NYRG have been a part of the

“The NYRG is about improving opportunities of

from organisations…

National Conversation, the initiative led by the TSA. The

Involvement for young people all over the country and

National Conversation provided the young people with

for me that is the key thing that will change the lives of

an opportunity to get involved in shaping new Housing

many who faces homelessness. I am really proud to be

Management Standards for Registered Providers.

members of NYRG, as I’m representing the young people

Government and is led by St Basils. To date there are 35 young people signed up to this initiative. They aretravelling all over the country influencing and impacting on Local Authorities and housing providers to increase opportunities for young people to be involved in housing–related issues and in developing new services for their peers. Iain Wright MP, formerly Minister with responsibility for homelessness, recognised the importance of young people’s involvement in matters that impacted on their lives. At the launch of the NYRG he said:

Having a National Conversation

“The National Conversation was a fantastic opportunity for us to say what is important to us and what housing associations need to improve, as well as what they are doing well. Feeding into National Conversation has given

“Each individual service knows what it does to support

us a chance to put our views across. It’s important to seek

a young person, but only the young person knows how it

the views of young people as we are the future”

felt, if it was at the right place and the right time, if it made

Kat McArdle NYRG Member

sense with what other agencies were doing, and if the combined effect actually helped them resolve their problems and move on to where they needed to be in life.

12

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

“I love getting involved because it gives me a great opportunity to help others and to learn new things.

at a National Level. NYRG has many benefits such as training, meeting many youths who are in the same situation as you and its also fun travelling around the country. To put it simple INVOLVEMENT IS POWER”. Alan Tien St Basils

The NYRG’s top 10 steps to success for organisations 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Take risks and involve us Find out HOW we want to be involved You need to be creative and flexible Be prepared to listen to us on an individual basis If something does not work don’t give up on us

• You need to be confident in our ability • You need to know that sometimes we know best • You need to support us with the RIGHT staff • You need to create opportunities and make them accessible • You need to communicate with us and enable us to communicate with you • You need to care about our lives • You need to remember involvement benefits us all • You need to offer us incentives • You need to get involved too

The National Youth Reference Group can also help and support your organisation. We are looking for organisations to submit “Good Practice Materials” on Youth Involvement. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity. Please contact nyrg@stbasils.org.uk.

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

13


CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

GET INVOLVED! Jenny Gray, Director of HUBB, a leading

Some of the HUBB staff have used, and currently use,

mental health charity in East London, sends

mental health services. Again, with advocacy or

a ‘Get involved’ message to service users.

training, having a personal knowledge of using

People who use mental health services were

services is invaluable. Staff can then offer peer support,

instrumental in getting HUBB started eighteen

understand some of the issues, and also act as role

years ago.

models for other people who are unwell.

The message I would like to give all of you out there

There are many challenges to getting people involved.

is GET INVOLVED! It may be that you are thinking –

People worry that they do not have the skills; they

What can I contribute?

worry about being unwell and unable to contribute.

Well, I may be the Director of this organisation, but I could not steer it in the direction we need to go without our Management Committee and staff. The knowledge that people have about how they have been treated within mental health services – both good and bad – keeps HUBB as an organisation true to its roots and its

Conversely some people worry about being seen as well by the Department of Work and Pensions, and that being involved will lead to losing benefit. This has not happened to any of our Committee members, or staff. All these concerns can be worked through, and support can be given.

membership. The service user Committee gives us an

HUBB would not exist as an authentic user group

authenticity that people recognise, and you can only

without the involvement of our members. This must be

get that from people who have had real experiences.

the same for many charities in the homeless sector.

All HUBB’s Management Committee – apart from one co-opted member - has used or still uses mental health services. We have a Committee meeting once a month where I report on the day to day affairs of running HUBB and flag up areas in the wider mental health world that the Committee may be interested in getting involved in. People can become Committee members by first becoming a member of HUBB. It only costs £1 to join. This sum is deliberately low so it is affordable for the majority of our members who are on benefits. Members receive our monthly newsletter which covers local and national items of interest, and the chance to join the Committee in September every year. All Committee members have training and support to carry out their role, but they do need to pass a standard Criminal Records Bureau check, to satisfy the Charity Commission’s requirements. They are paid reasonable expenses – fares to meetings, refreshments etc.

SERVICE USER INVOLVEMENT – THE KEY THAT OPENS NEW DOORS Hestia has worked hard over the years to establish a solid service user involvement (SUI) structure reaching into many areas of the organisation. We believe that the people that use our services hold the key and that they can and will tell us what they need if given the right atmosphere and situation to do so. The first involvement institution in Hestia was the founding of the “Better Lives Forum” (BLF) which meets 6 times per year and is run by 4 elected Service User officers. This is what some of the officers said:

Your involvement is vital. You may have concerns, but

“The BLF has become stronger and more successful

support is available. Without your involvement, services

over the 2 years I was the Chair. More people are coming

will not improve, and who knows, it may lead you down

to meetings and more people are involved in the voting

a whole new area in your life. GET INVOLVED!

process for the new officers. There have also been some very significant changes in Hestia’s procedures as a result of consultation with service users.” Patrick “After some time spent in hospital, I started receiving support from Hestia. Firstly I was reluctant to join the BLF, as I was worried that the responsibility would be too much for me. But everyone has been terrific in helping me develop into the person I am today, my confidence has grown and I’ve stayed out of hospital for the whole period. The Better Lives Forum has helped me to feel

14

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

• Service User Newsletters - A group of Service User editors meets regularly to produce the quarterly Newsletters. • Service User Inspectors visit Hestia’s projects as part of internal inspections, speak to service users to gather their feedback on the service they receive. Issues that arise are taken forward and addressed. • Service Users involvement in recruitment - Service Users are involved in staff recruitment and we offer professional training to those that are interested to sit on interview panels. • Service User Trainer group. A group of Service Users that have been trained to facilitate training to staff and other Service Users. We have seen a change in the way we do SUI in the organisation and realised that we have to review structures frequently. Hestia supports service users from many different backgrounds and we know that we have to offer each group activities that are relevant to them to have a successful involvement structure. T. Nebel, SUI Worker, Hestia “Before starting to get involved, I often felt that I just wanted to be left alone. I then volunteered to help

more positive.” Steve

distributing Hestia’s Newsletter. At first I was reluctant, but

Over the last few years more and more involvement

most important built my confidence and relation with

activities have grown:

other people. I was offered a work placement in the

• A Service User Policy Group - A strong group of Service Users who look at policies and procedures and give feedback on them. Many procedures

Jenny Gray at HUBB’s AGM in September. Photo Hubb

FEATURES

have been changed through his process.

soon I realized it motivated me to go out, do things, and

finance team and I gladly accepted it. The world opened new doors for me and it wasn’t all grey and black anymore.” Women’s Aid Service User For more information, visit www.hestia.org

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

15


CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

GET INVOLVED! Jenny Gray, Director of HUBB, a leading

Some of the HUBB staff have used, and currently use,

mental health charity in East London, sends

mental health services. Again, with advocacy or

a ‘Get involved’ message to service users.

training, having a personal knowledge of using

People who use mental health services were

services is invaluable. Staff can then offer peer support,

instrumental in getting HUBB started eighteen

understand some of the issues, and also act as role

years ago.

models for other people who are unwell.

The message I would like to give all of you out there

There are many challenges to getting people involved.

is GET INVOLVED! It may be that you are thinking –

People worry that they do not have the skills; they

What can I contribute?

worry about being unwell and unable to contribute.

Well, I may be the Director of this organisation, but I could not steer it in the direction we need to go without our Management Committee and staff. The knowledge that people have about how they have been treated within mental health services – both good and bad – keeps HUBB as an organisation true to its roots and its

Conversely some people worry about being seen as well by the Department of Work and Pensions, and that being involved will lead to losing benefit. This has not happened to any of our Committee members, or staff. All these concerns can be worked through, and support can be given.

membership. The service user Committee gives us an

HUBB would not exist as an authentic user group

authenticity that people recognise, and you can only

without the involvement of our members. This must be

get that from people who have had real experiences.

the same for many charities in the homeless sector.

All HUBB’s Management Committee – apart from one co-opted member - has used or still uses mental health services. We have a Committee meeting once a month where I report on the day to day affairs of running HUBB and flag up areas in the wider mental health world that the Committee may be interested in getting involved in. People can become Committee members by first becoming a member of HUBB. It only costs £1 to join. This sum is deliberately low so it is affordable for the majority of our members who are on benefits. Members receive our monthly newsletter which covers local and national items of interest, and the chance to join the Committee in September every year. All Committee members have training and support to carry out their role, but they do need to pass a standard Criminal Records Bureau check, to satisfy the Charity Commission’s requirements. They are paid reasonable expenses – fares to meetings, refreshments etc.

SERVICE USER INVOLVEMENT – THE KEY THAT OPENS NEW DOORS Hestia has worked hard over the years to establish a solid service user involvement (SUI) structure reaching into many areas of the organisation. We believe that the people that use our services hold the key and that they can and will tell us what they need if given the right atmosphere and situation to do so. The first involvement institution in Hestia was the founding of the “Better Lives Forum” (BLF) which meets 6 times per year and is run by 4 elected Service User officers. This is what some of the officers said:

Your involvement is vital. You may have concerns, but

“The BLF has become stronger and more successful

support is available. Without your involvement, services

over the 2 years I was the Chair. More people are coming

will not improve, and who knows, it may lead you down

to meetings and more people are involved in the voting

a whole new area in your life. GET INVOLVED!

process for the new officers. There have also been some very significant changes in Hestia’s procedures as a result of consultation with service users.” Patrick “After some time spent in hospital, I started receiving support from Hestia. Firstly I was reluctant to join the BLF, as I was worried that the responsibility would be too much for me. But everyone has been terrific in helping me develop into the person I am today, my confidence has grown and I’ve stayed out of hospital for the whole period. The Better Lives Forum has helped me to feel

14

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

• Service User Newsletters - A group of Service User editors meets regularly to produce the quarterly Newsletters. • Service User Inspectors visit Hestia’s projects as part of internal inspections, speak to service users to gather their feedback on the service they receive. Issues that arise are taken forward and addressed. • Service Users involvement in recruitment - Service Users are involved in staff recruitment and we offer professional training to those that are interested to sit on interview panels. • Service User Trainer group. A group of Service Users that have been trained to facilitate training to staff and other Service Users. We have seen a change in the way we do SUI in the organisation and realised that we have to review structures frequently. Hestia supports service users from many different backgrounds and we know that we have to offer each group activities that are relevant to them to have a successful involvement structure. T. Nebel, SUI Worker, Hestia “Before starting to get involved, I often felt that I just wanted to be left alone. I then volunteered to help

more positive.” Steve

distributing Hestia’s Newsletter. At first I was reluctant, but

Over the last few years more and more involvement

most important built my confidence and relation with

activities have grown:

other people. I was offered a work placement in the

• A Service User Policy Group - A strong group of Service Users who look at policies and procedures and give feedback on them. Many procedures

Jenny Gray at HUBB’s AGM in September. Photo Hubb

FEATURES

have been changed through his process.

soon I realized it motivated me to go out, do things, and

finance team and I gladly accepted it. The world opened new doors for me and it wasn’t all grey and black anymore.” Women’s Aid Service User For more information, visit www.hestia.org

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

15


CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

FEATURES

TEMPLATES FOR SUCCESS In March 2009 DDN/Alliance held their

‘For many people, this is a massive change,’ she said. ‘The

second service user involvement conference

process is about people being in charge.’ The detox was

in Birmingham. This article has been reproduced

extremely safe and constantly monitored, as well as cost

from DDN, the magazine for the substance misuse

effective, she said, and staff turnover was extremely low.

field, with their kind permission.

The service was also very popular with partner agencies,

The day’s second session focused on some shining

including Nottingham DAT.

examples of best practice, ranging from supplying

‘It’s service user led. We want service users to be happy,

naloxone on an outreach basis to the benefits of

and we offer choice. We also run an abstinence

employing service users for both client and organisation.

programme side by side in the same environment,

The thing they all had in common, however, was the

and it works very well.’

central role of service users in shaping the agenda. The session began with a look at alcohol detoxification

which saw the overdose-reversing drug supplied on an

using monitored drinking. Caroline Thompson of

outreach basis in 2007 (DDN, 12 January, page 12).

Nottingham-based Framework Housing, which specialises

A multi-agency project, the aim was to not only to reduce

in housing and support for homeless people, described

drug related deaths but also to raise awareness of

how her organisation was commissioned to provide a

blood-borne viruses. A show of hands revealed that most

‘sensible drinking service’, after a service user consultation

people in the audience knew someone who had died of

found that many clients did not want complete

an overdose, and would have done something to help

abstinence. The service even provided the alcohol.

had they had access to naloxone. Despite being safe and

Clients were breathalysed on arrival, before being given four units of alcohol at set intervals until reaching a breath alcohol reading close to negative. There were a maximum of five nights when alcohol could be consumed, and one

effective, however, naloxone distribution remains patchy (DDN, 1 December 2008, page12). The drug should be freely available at needle exchanges, Wiltshire DAAT harm reduction lead Mick Webb told delegates.

of the abstinent days had to be the day clients received

‘Why do we need to provide evidence that naloxone

their benefits. The service would never be offered where

works?’ he said. ‘It’s so frustrating. The stuff’s been used by

there could be potential physical or mental health

A&E departments and ambulance services for years to

consequences, she said, and exclusion criteria included

save lives – it’s proven that it works.’

alcohol reading in the absence of physical withdrawal symptoms, and to try and engage people in the positive aspects of their treatment’ she said. It was a good way to

The trial began in 2005, with a survey carried out in 2007.

Being able to provide for dependants and the sense of

Of the 26 people in treatment at the time, 12 were not

achievement that goes with it was one of the recurrent

using at all after the trial, whereas before more than half

themes in feedback from service users, said Counted4’s

had been using seven days a week. Crack use had also

Lisa Mallen, along with feeling part of society, doing

reduced, because service users were not being exposed

something worthwhile and being trusted and taken

to dealers and their ‘clever marketing and two for one

seriously. Negative aspects included the attitudes of

deals,’ she said, and over the three-year trail period

some other employees, Criminal Records Bureau checks

there had been no drug-related deaths or criminal

and fitting work around accessing treatment. For the

justice incidents.

employer, however, it also helped promote an attitude

‘The way forward is for service users to ask joint commissioners to start trials in their areas,’ she said. ‘It makes sense – it works, it saves lives.’ Counted4 is a tier 3 prescribing service in the north eas that routinely employs drug users, and it was often asked

use of benzodiazepines. ‘The aim is to comfortably achieve a negative breath

DDN/Alliance’s service user involvement conference in Birmingham. Photo DDN

Also service user driven was the Wiltshire naloxone pilot,

Meanwhile service user Cristina Lora told the conference about the Random Injectable Opioid Treatment Trial (RIOTT), where a third of those involved were provided with injectable diamorphine, with access to doses of oral methadone. The emphasis was on self-reporting, she said,

why, said drug worker and ex-service user Sharyn Smiles. ‘Drug users have invaluable experience of accessing services, customers relate to them well, and they’re good “interpreters” for GPs,’ she said. ‘Drug users are

with meetings held every four weeks.

willing to learn. They’re good, honest, reliable people

worked better with younger service users, particularly

‘As a service user you always have to be economical with

want a job because I used to stick a needle in my arm.

in conjunction with the organisation’s meaningful

the truth, but in the trial they really did believe us. They

I want a job because I want to make a better life

occupation programmes.

would increase the dose instead of penalising people.’

for my family.’

suppress withdrawal symptoms and increase self-efficacy regarding future alcohol consumption, she said, and

16

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

and very employable – they go that extra mile. I don’t

of equality as well as improving retention rates, providing a wealth of learning opportunities and offering a new perspective. ‘Customers can engage and relate, and it also inspires colleagues,’ said Lisa Mallen. It also helped challenge attitudes – among GPs, for example – and the perceptions of some partner agencies around working with service users. ‘What I would say to employers is this,’ said Sharyn Smiles. ‘Try it – you might like it.’ You can read more about the DDN/Alliance service user involvement conference findings here: www.drinkanddrugsnews.com/ ViewIssue.aspx?mag_id=99 WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

17


CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

FEATURES

TEMPLATES FOR SUCCESS In March 2009 DDN/Alliance held their

‘For many people, this is a massive change,’ she said. ‘The

second service user involvement conference

process is about people being in charge.’ The detox was

in Birmingham. This article has been reproduced

extremely safe and constantly monitored, as well as cost

from DDN, the magazine for the substance misuse

effective, she said, and staff turnover was extremely low.

field, with their kind permission.

The service was also very popular with partner agencies,

The day’s second session focused on some shining

including Nottingham DAT.

examples of best practice, ranging from supplying

‘It’s service user led. We want service users to be happy,

naloxone on an outreach basis to the benefits of

and we offer choice. We also run an abstinence

employing service users for both client and organisation.

programme side by side in the same environment,

The thing they all had in common, however, was the

and it works very well.’

central role of service users in shaping the agenda. The session began with a look at alcohol detoxification

which saw the overdose-reversing drug supplied on an

using monitored drinking. Caroline Thompson of

outreach basis in 2007 (DDN, 12 January, page 12).

Nottingham-based Framework Housing, which specialises

A multi-agency project, the aim was to not only to reduce

in housing and support for homeless people, described

drug related deaths but also to raise awareness of

how her organisation was commissioned to provide a

blood-borne viruses. A show of hands revealed that most

‘sensible drinking service’, after a service user consultation

people in the audience knew someone who had died of

found that many clients did not want complete

an overdose, and would have done something to help

abstinence. The service even provided the alcohol.

had they had access to naloxone. Despite being safe and

Clients were breathalysed on arrival, before being given four units of alcohol at set intervals until reaching a breath alcohol reading close to negative. There were a maximum of five nights when alcohol could be consumed, and one

effective, however, naloxone distribution remains patchy (DDN, 1 December 2008, page12). The drug should be freely available at needle exchanges, Wiltshire DAAT harm reduction lead Mick Webb told delegates.

of the abstinent days had to be the day clients received

‘Why do we need to provide evidence that naloxone

their benefits. The service would never be offered where

works?’ he said. ‘It’s so frustrating. The stuff’s been used by

there could be potential physical or mental health

A&E departments and ambulance services for years to

consequences, she said, and exclusion criteria included

save lives – it’s proven that it works.’

alcohol reading in the absence of physical withdrawal symptoms, and to try and engage people in the positive aspects of their treatment’ she said. It was a good way to

The trial began in 2005, with a survey carried out in 2007.

Being able to provide for dependants and the sense of

Of the 26 people in treatment at the time, 12 were not

achievement that goes with it was one of the recurrent

using at all after the trial, whereas before more than half

themes in feedback from service users, said Counted4’s

had been using seven days a week. Crack use had also

Lisa Mallen, along with feeling part of society, doing

reduced, because service users were not being exposed

something worthwhile and being trusted and taken

to dealers and their ‘clever marketing and two for one

seriously. Negative aspects included the attitudes of

deals,’ she said, and over the three-year trail period

some other employees, Criminal Records Bureau checks

there had been no drug-related deaths or criminal

and fitting work around accessing treatment. For the

justice incidents.

employer, however, it also helped promote an attitude

‘The way forward is for service users to ask joint commissioners to start trials in their areas,’ she said. ‘It makes sense – it works, it saves lives.’ Counted4 is a tier 3 prescribing service in the north eas that routinely employs drug users, and it was often asked

use of benzodiazepines. ‘The aim is to comfortably achieve a negative breath

DDN/Alliance’s service user involvement conference in Birmingham. Photo DDN

Also service user driven was the Wiltshire naloxone pilot,

Meanwhile service user Cristina Lora told the conference about the Random Injectable Opioid Treatment Trial (RIOTT), where a third of those involved were provided with injectable diamorphine, with access to doses of oral methadone. The emphasis was on self-reporting, she said,

why, said drug worker and ex-service user Sharyn Smiles. ‘Drug users have invaluable experience of accessing services, customers relate to them well, and they’re good “interpreters” for GPs,’ she said. ‘Drug users are

with meetings held every four weeks.

willing to learn. They’re good, honest, reliable people

worked better with younger service users, particularly

‘As a service user you always have to be economical with

want a job because I used to stick a needle in my arm.

in conjunction with the organisation’s meaningful

the truth, but in the trial they really did believe us. They

I want a job because I want to make a better life

occupation programmes.

would increase the dose instead of penalising people.’

for my family.’

suppress withdrawal symptoms and increase self-efficacy regarding future alcohol consumption, she said, and

16

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

and very employable – they go that extra mile. I don’t

of equality as well as improving retention rates, providing a wealth of learning opportunities and offering a new perspective. ‘Customers can engage and relate, and it also inspires colleagues,’ said Lisa Mallen. It also helped challenge attitudes – among GPs, for example – and the perceptions of some partner agencies around working with service users. ‘What I would say to employers is this,’ said Sharyn Smiles. ‘Try it – you might like it.’ You can read more about the DDN/Alliance service user involvement conference findings here: www.drinkanddrugsnews.com/ ViewIssue.aspx?mag_id=99 WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

17


CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

Y INVOLVE ME?

Emma Farrow, South London YMCA’s first Customer Involvement Manager, was appointed in September 2008. She hopes that in the future they will be as well known for Customer Involvement as for housing support.

South London YMCA (SLYMCA) is a housing

possible because of the dedication of the SLYMCA

association working in Croydon, Lambeth and

customers who have worked with me and given up so

Southwark providing almost 500 units of supported

much of their time.

housing for vulnerable people. We offer a wide variety of accommodation from hostels for homeless people of all ages to individual placements for young people in local families through our innovative Community Host Scheme. We are well known in the boroughs in which we work not just because of the iconic ‘Y’ logo that sits atop our largest hostel in central Croydon - but because of the sheer number of people we have worked with over the years: the YMCA has been working in Croydon for almost

‘The first few steps we took were tentative but a year on we have built up momentum and we are striding towards customer involvement in all areas of our organisation’

SLYMCA’s Customer Involvement Manager and their first Trainee Supported Housing Worker talk to Croydon’s young people at ‘Put It Down Part 2’ an anti gun and knife crime event Photo South London YMCA

The first step we took towards involving our customers was to produce our first customer involvement strategy, which we called ‘Y involve me’. It focuses on the 5 key areas we wanted to develop, namely: • Communication • Support • Representation • Change • Improvement

Externally, we have started raising our profile in the

But the future is looking bright and as well as publishing

local community. As part of a group of local housing

our first organisational newsletter, and launching Ytext

associations, we put on a high profile ‘anti gun and

and Ytype (our new text and email news services), we

knife crime’ event in Croydon in August 2009. We are

are in the process of designing ‘The Living Room’, the

also providing training opportunities for our customers -

new customer only area of our website.

we were proud to become one of the pilot sites working with Alcohol Concern and SMART Recovery

– and outlined everything we planned to achieve.

UK to train our customers to become SMART facilitators.

September 2008 we took the first step towards

We have had many successes over the past year.

– open to the wider local community - and drawing on

making this happen by creating the new post of

Our customers are now involved in recruiting new staff

their experiences of recovery to support other people

Customer Involvement Manager.

and representing us on regional and national fora.

battling addiction.

150 years. We hope in the future to be as well known for Customer Involvement as housing support and in

I was appointed to the role and I was excited about the prospect of the new role and the new organisational culture that wanted to put customers at the heart of the work. For the past 12 months I have worked with customers and staff to develop involvement across the organisation. Many of our successes have only been 18

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

FEATURES

We have also appointed our first customer Board Member - a fantastic achievement which will have a really positive impact on our organisation. We have also set up a customer work station at our head office which is helping to integrate customer involvement in all aspects of our organisation.

Our customers are now running weekly SMART meetings

Despite our many successes we have encountered inevitable challenges and have also learnt a lot – and we continue to learn on a daily basis. In particular, we underestimated the time it would take to achieve some of the goals we set ourselves and were overly optimistic

We are also piloting a customer trainee programme and we are now advertising for our second trainee housing support worker. We are planning to develop the programme and roll it out across our organisation. This is something we are really proud of and that we know will have a really positive impact on our organisation. Our ultimate goal is to encourage more customers to get involved and get on board with ‘Y involve me’, and we look forward to updating you on our progress over coming months.

in our enthusiasm to get things done!

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

19


CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

Y INVOLVE ME?

Emma Farrow, South London YMCA’s first Customer Involvement Manager, was appointed in September 2008. She hopes that in the future they will be as well known for Customer Involvement as for housing support.

South London YMCA (SLYMCA) is a housing

possible because of the dedication of the SLYMCA

association working in Croydon, Lambeth and

customers who have worked with me and given up so

Southwark providing almost 500 units of supported

much of their time.

housing for vulnerable people. We offer a wide variety of accommodation from hostels for homeless people of all ages to individual placements for young people in local families through our innovative Community Host Scheme. We are well known in the boroughs in which we work not just because of the iconic ‘Y’ logo that sits atop our largest hostel in central Croydon - but because of the sheer number of people we have worked with over the years: the YMCA has been working in Croydon for almost

‘The first few steps we took were tentative but a year on we have built up momentum and we are striding towards customer involvement in all areas of our organisation’

SLYMCA’s Customer Involvement Manager and their first Trainee Supported Housing Worker talk to Croydon’s young people at ‘Put It Down Part 2’ an anti gun and knife crime event Photo South London YMCA

The first step we took towards involving our customers was to produce our first customer involvement strategy, which we called ‘Y involve me’. It focuses on the 5 key areas we wanted to develop, namely: • Communication • Support • Representation • Change • Improvement

Externally, we have started raising our profile in the

But the future is looking bright and as well as publishing

local community. As part of a group of local housing

our first organisational newsletter, and launching Ytext

associations, we put on a high profile ‘anti gun and

and Ytype (our new text and email news services), we

knife crime’ event in Croydon in August 2009. We are

are in the process of designing ‘The Living Room’, the

also providing training opportunities for our customers -

new customer only area of our website.

we were proud to become one of the pilot sites working with Alcohol Concern and SMART Recovery

– and outlined everything we planned to achieve.

UK to train our customers to become SMART facilitators.

September 2008 we took the first step towards

We have had many successes over the past year.

– open to the wider local community - and drawing on

making this happen by creating the new post of

Our customers are now involved in recruiting new staff

their experiences of recovery to support other people

Customer Involvement Manager.

and representing us on regional and national fora.

battling addiction.

150 years. We hope in the future to be as well known for Customer Involvement as housing support and in

I was appointed to the role and I was excited about the prospect of the new role and the new organisational culture that wanted to put customers at the heart of the work. For the past 12 months I have worked with customers and staff to develop involvement across the organisation. Many of our successes have only been 18

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

FEATURES

We have also appointed our first customer Board Member - a fantastic achievement which will have a really positive impact on our organisation. We have also set up a customer work station at our head office which is helping to integrate customer involvement in all aspects of our organisation.

Our customers are now running weekly SMART meetings

Despite our many successes we have encountered inevitable challenges and have also learnt a lot – and we continue to learn on a daily basis. In particular, we underestimated the time it would take to achieve some of the goals we set ourselves and were overly optimistic

We are also piloting a customer trainee programme and we are now advertising for our second trainee housing support worker. We are planning to develop the programme and roll it out across our organisation. This is something we are really proud of and that we know will have a really positive impact on our organisation. Our ultimate goal is to encourage more customers to get involved and get on board with ‘Y involve me’, and we look forward to updating you on our progress over coming months.

in our enthusiasm to get things done!

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

19


CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

SHARING BEST PRACTICE ON CLIENT INVOLVEMENT Jessica Plant from Homeless Link provides an update on the User Involvement Network Forum, a staff led forum for those whose role includes client involvement in a variety of contexts. Since March last year Homeless Link has been attending and offering strategic guidance to the User Involvement Network Forum in London (UIN Forum). The forum has been running for four years and includes some of its original founders from organisations such as SHP, Broadway and St Mungos. They originally started the group when client involvement was new on the agenda and new staff roles were created within organisations to raise levels of client involvement. Some of these members were at the forefront of initiating client involvement within their organisations. They worked on increasing participation on whole range of levels - from hostel meetings and outings; to involving clients in recruitment and audit panels; and getting clients on organisational boards, for example. The group is now an active network that

ENGAGING IN POLICY MATTERS

I still am. My views and questions are listened to and

Simon Cribbens from the Greater London

answered. I bring a client’s views”.

Authority (GLA) and Homeless Link’s Paul

Ian Faulkner, Chair of Broadway’s Board, believes Paul’s appointment is an extremely positive step for Broadway’s governance and for its services to clients.

FEATURES

Anderson review the first service user consultation on the Mayor of London’s draft Housing Strategy.

“We knew that experience of homelessness would

A number of homeless agencies have been

be a real asset to the Board. We now have that

working hard for some time to develop mechanisms

experience on the Board and it is proving invaluable.

to engage homeless clients in policy discussions.

Paul has settled in to the role as well as any other

This work provided Homeless Link and the Greater

Board member, but he adds the missing dimension of

London Authority (GLA) with the opportunity to

experience in a way that no amount of project visits

hold a Focus Group of 6 clients (all with a history of

can. He has also given us a wider perspective of the

homelessness) - representing their views and reflecting

The level of debate was both sophisticated and

sector from his involvement and experience with other

the view of clients from the 5 organisations they

challenging and balanced highlighting problems

service providers. His role on the Board and on our

represent. The Focus Group came together in mid

with proposing solutions. The clients involved were

Services Sub-committee has helped us to focus on the

August to discuss the public consultation of the

able to not only offer insights gained from their

client impact of our decisions in ways that we never

draft London Housing Strategy. With the strategy’s

experience of homelessness, but also, where

expected. A fantastic step forwards in the governance

consultation period finishing at the end of the month,

more appropriate, separate from their personal

of Broadway”

and the document’s coverage of rough sleeping and

experiences to express opinions on wider policy

wider homeless and housing issues, it could not have

issues. The exchanges were frank, informed and

been better timed.

invaluable for housing professionals who too rarely

This is just one example of the ways in which clients can be involved at all levels within an organisation.

Simon at the service user consultation meeting in August. Photo Homeless Link

sit down with those who use services, experience

It inspired Homeless Link to take more of an active role

Prior to the meeting a summary of the draft Strategy was

itself and engage clients at a strategic level. The forum

sent to members of the Focus Group to ensure they had

works when it comes to client involvement.

highlighted that clients actually wanted their voices

some background information on the issues under

At the end of the meeting the clients present

heard on wider national policy issues, as well as on

discussion. At the meeting, the group debated some

agreed that the notes from the discussions would be

I was inspired by my conversation with Juliette Hough,

organisational decisions.

of the key themes of the Strategy, such as housing

submitted as a collective response from them to the

shortage and willingness to move to take up housing

London Housing Strategy consultation process. Indeed,

opportunities; the choices and experience of the private

after the meeting Homeless Link received two sets of

rented sector compared to social housing; who social

further comments from clients who had not been able

housing should be for; and what else needs to be done

to attend the Focus Group, but also wanted to be

to end rough sleeping and prevent the need to sleep

involved. These were submitted as appendices to the

rough in the future.

main response.

shares good practice, offers policy guidance and holds regular presentations to demonstrate what

Research and Participation Officer at Broadway. She has been heavily involved in the forum, and described Broadway’s journey on client involvement since it advertised a vacancy on its Board to clients in 2008.

Members of the forum continue to develop dynamic methods that engage service users at all levels, leading the way to ensure client involvement is encompassed in all aspects of delivery. This includes initiatives such as

housing need and feel the impact of policy decisions.

“In 2008, Broadway advertised a vacancy on our Board

ensuring clients are involved in their actual support

to clients. Paul Wilson’s support worker spoke to him

planning; handing over budgets and venue

about it. He was already involved as a peer researcher

responsibilities to client led groups; producing client

The comments, opinions and suggestions that came

Nobody who attended this meeting could be under

and sat on Broadway’s recruitment panels, and he had

led newsletters and internet forums; and involvement

out in the discussion reflected many of the issues that

any illusion that homeless people do not have plenty to

expressed an interest in more involvement. He was

in architectural consultations for new builds and

are currently being debated by government and

offer the policy-development process. Certainly not the

interviewed and joined the Board.”

organisational audits. All these activities, will steer

other policy makers. These included suggestions

GLA who want to continue working with Homeless Link

the development of services for clients and improve our

from the group’s members that social rented sector

to meet with the Focus Group, especially in relation

sectors responses to homeless and vulnerable people.

tenancies for life, and the prioritisation of new lettings

to the Mayor’s commitment to end rough sleeping.

need to be looked at again in the light of so much

The challenge for the rest of us is to make sure they are

housing shortage.

given the opportunities for their voices to be heard.

Paul Wilson commented, “My role is the same as any other Board member – to make sure the services are running correctly, not losing money, and adhere to the

If you want to know more about the forum contact

Broadway vision. The first Board meeting I went to was

jessica.plant@homelessslink.org.uk

brilliant. I was made to feel very, very welcome, and 20

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

21


CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

SHARING BEST PRACTICE ON CLIENT INVOLVEMENT Jessica Plant from Homeless Link provides an update on the User Involvement Network Forum, a staff led forum for those whose role includes client involvement in a variety of contexts. Since March last year Homeless Link has been attending and offering strategic guidance to the User Involvement Network Forum in London (UIN Forum). The forum has been running for four years and includes some of its original founders from organisations such as SHP, Broadway and St Mungos. They originally started the group when client involvement was new on the agenda and new staff roles were created within organisations to raise levels of client involvement. Some of these members were at the forefront of initiating client involvement within their organisations. They worked on increasing participation on whole range of levels - from hostel meetings and outings; to involving clients in recruitment and audit panels; and getting clients on organisational boards, for example. The group is now an active network that

ENGAGING IN POLICY MATTERS

I still am. My views and questions are listened to and

Simon Cribbens from the Greater London

answered. I bring a client’s views”.

Authority (GLA) and Homeless Link’s Paul

Ian Faulkner, Chair of Broadway’s Board, believes Paul’s appointment is an extremely positive step for Broadway’s governance and for its services to clients.

FEATURES

Anderson review the first service user consultation on the Mayor of London’s draft Housing Strategy.

“We knew that experience of homelessness would

A number of homeless agencies have been

be a real asset to the Board. We now have that

working hard for some time to develop mechanisms

experience on the Board and it is proving invaluable.

to engage homeless clients in policy discussions.

Paul has settled in to the role as well as any other

This work provided Homeless Link and the Greater

Board member, but he adds the missing dimension of

London Authority (GLA) with the opportunity to

experience in a way that no amount of project visits

hold a Focus Group of 6 clients (all with a history of

can. He has also given us a wider perspective of the

homelessness) - representing their views and reflecting

The level of debate was both sophisticated and

sector from his involvement and experience with other

the view of clients from the 5 organisations they

challenging and balanced highlighting problems

service providers. His role on the Board and on our

represent. The Focus Group came together in mid

with proposing solutions. The clients involved were

Services Sub-committee has helped us to focus on the

August to discuss the public consultation of the

able to not only offer insights gained from their

client impact of our decisions in ways that we never

draft London Housing Strategy. With the strategy’s

experience of homelessness, but also, where

expected. A fantastic step forwards in the governance

consultation period finishing at the end of the month,

more appropriate, separate from their personal

of Broadway”

and the document’s coverage of rough sleeping and

experiences to express opinions on wider policy

wider homeless and housing issues, it could not have

issues. The exchanges were frank, informed and

been better timed.

invaluable for housing professionals who too rarely

This is just one example of the ways in which clients can be involved at all levels within an organisation.

Simon at the service user consultation meeting in August. Photo Homeless Link

sit down with those who use services, experience

It inspired Homeless Link to take more of an active role

Prior to the meeting a summary of the draft Strategy was

itself and engage clients at a strategic level. The forum

sent to members of the Focus Group to ensure they had

works when it comes to client involvement.

highlighted that clients actually wanted their voices

some background information on the issues under

At the end of the meeting the clients present

heard on wider national policy issues, as well as on

discussion. At the meeting, the group debated some

agreed that the notes from the discussions would be

I was inspired by my conversation with Juliette Hough,

organisational decisions.

of the key themes of the Strategy, such as housing

submitted as a collective response from them to the

shortage and willingness to move to take up housing

London Housing Strategy consultation process. Indeed,

opportunities; the choices and experience of the private

after the meeting Homeless Link received two sets of

rented sector compared to social housing; who social

further comments from clients who had not been able

housing should be for; and what else needs to be done

to attend the Focus Group, but also wanted to be

to end rough sleeping and prevent the need to sleep

involved. These were submitted as appendices to the

rough in the future.

main response.

shares good practice, offers policy guidance and holds regular presentations to demonstrate what

Research and Participation Officer at Broadway. She has been heavily involved in the forum, and described Broadway’s journey on client involvement since it advertised a vacancy on its Board to clients in 2008.

Members of the forum continue to develop dynamic methods that engage service users at all levels, leading the way to ensure client involvement is encompassed in all aspects of delivery. This includes initiatives such as

housing need and feel the impact of policy decisions.

“In 2008, Broadway advertised a vacancy on our Board

ensuring clients are involved in their actual support

to clients. Paul Wilson’s support worker spoke to him

planning; handing over budgets and venue

about it. He was already involved as a peer researcher

responsibilities to client led groups; producing client

The comments, opinions and suggestions that came

Nobody who attended this meeting could be under

and sat on Broadway’s recruitment panels, and he had

led newsletters and internet forums; and involvement

out in the discussion reflected many of the issues that

any illusion that homeless people do not have plenty to

expressed an interest in more involvement. He was

in architectural consultations for new builds and

are currently being debated by government and

offer the policy-development process. Certainly not the

interviewed and joined the Board.”

organisational audits. All these activities, will steer

other policy makers. These included suggestions

GLA who want to continue working with Homeless Link

the development of services for clients and improve our

from the group’s members that social rented sector

to meet with the Focus Group, especially in relation

sectors responses to homeless and vulnerable people.

tenancies for life, and the prioritisation of new lettings

to the Mayor’s commitment to end rough sleeping.

need to be looked at again in the light of so much

The challenge for the rest of us is to make sure they are

housing shortage.

given the opportunities for their voices to be heard.

Paul Wilson commented, “My role is the same as any other Board member – to make sure the services are running correctly, not losing money, and adhere to the

If you want to know more about the forum contact

Broadway vision. The first Board meeting I went to was

jessica.plant@homelessslink.org.uk

brilliant. I was made to feel very, very welcome, and 20

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21


CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

MEANINGFUL OCCUPATIONS, INDEPENDENT LIVES

As a result of members’ feedback and consultation the

Mel James, Occupational Therapist, and

Through the assessment process, an action plan is jointly

Marc Colson, Project Manager, at Exeter

created, encouraging members to attend groups which

Shilhay Community discuss how the

will best facilitate their progress, as well as signposting to

Meaningful Occupation Project (MOP)

other relevant agencies. The activities timetable is created

has encouraged and employed more than

using the outcomes from assessments in order to make

70 individuals a week at many levels,

them meaningful and relevant. The service aims to offer

including teaching, sound production

groups that meet educational, personal and leisure needs

and volunteer roles.

both inside the project, and out in the community.

The Exeter Meaningful Occupation Project (MOP) is part

By working in partnership with other agencies such as

of Exeter Shilhay Community Ltd, a charity that works with

members’ accommodation providers and other key

homeless and vulnerably housed adults. This includes

workers, the team can help to provide a holistic action plan

individuals with mental health and / or learning difficulties,

that takes into account the members’ accommodation

substance use issues, a history of offending, asylum seekers,

needs alongside their occupational aspirations.

refugees and survivors of domestic violence.

Model

The project offers a range of structured activities for

The staff use the Model of Human Occupation (MoHO)

members to improve and maintain their health, wellbeing

to promote a holistic approach to working with project

and quality of life, whilst promoting independence and

members. A variety of assessment tools is available to fit

integration into the community through self actualisation.

within this framework, including a specifically designed

The Team The MOP team consists of a manager, senior project worker, 2 Occupational Therapists, a project assistant, and 2 part time administration workers. The staff are supported by a large team of tutors and volunteers who deliver many

MoHO-based assessment, the Star Outcomes Measure and International Treatment Effectiveness Plan (ITEP) maps. The Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) is also offered. This enables the project to be flexible in its approach according to the varying needs of the members. Activities

activities are structured to fulfil members’ aspirations.

The following table is just a sample of some of the

MOP adopts an ethos of client-centeredness, aiming to empower members to achieve their aspirations and goals,

activities which are regularly offered to members. A gardening project

service schedule has changed from a monthly timetable to a term-time programme using the ‘holiday’ periods to access fun learning activities such as team building games, bush craft skills, kayaking, sailing and surfing lessons and map reading on nearby Dartmoor. These activities promote team working, communication skills, problem solving, creativity and initiative as well as positively influencing self-esteem and confidence and providing individuals with a heightened sense of achievement. A Typical Week Each day within MOP there is variety, change and differing The House of Stories: Shilhay’s story-telling, art and music project resulted in a children’s CD and activity book.

Art

Information technology

individual experiences, so it is important that the staff team are genuinely flexible within their roles. A typical week may involve; inducting new members, carrying out

Other project work has included a highly creative socially inclusive community show and a children’s stories CD recording project. Members are currently working on designing and running a fashion show employing recycling, budgeting and craft skills to create new designs in a time of ‘credit crunch’. An animation project has also been commissioned to be run this autumn on the theme of prejudice. Social Enterprise Development MOP is currently exploring a new social enterprise

of the activities and work with the staff to ensure that the

Ethos

FEATURES

inphotography and marketing which will be supported with photography and writing skills courses. The project has teamed up with Exeter City Council and the Choice Based Lettings Scheme where MOP members will be tasked to take the photographs of properties, edit the

assessments or reviews, preparing and facilitating groups, planning new projects, networking and promoting the service, and one-to-one work with members in line with specific areas of need. Informal interactions with members also take place which can lead to the disclosure of additional specific needs in the areas of housing, health, advocacy, education, volunteering and more besides. Consultation Members are encouraged to attend the weekly operations meetings. Essentially these are staff meetings which look at the planning and delivery of services, health and safety, fundraising and policy. Members can therefore be very involved in the process and are part of the decision making alongside the team. Summary

through groups and 1-1 activities which seek to build

images, write descriptions of properties and local

MOP is providing and facilitating occupational interventions

self- esteem, promote skills and personal development

amenities, and upload all data to the local authority

that are meaningful to their members, in order to build

website. It is hoped that a number of paid positions

on engagement and improve positive outcomes. MOP

will be created in this business.

members have gone on to become employed or attend

and enhance social networks. Process Through the process of application, induction, assessment

Music group

Cooking skills

and day to day interaction, staff begin to build positive relationships with members, gaining a good understanding of where they are at, and what they want to achieve i.e. their aspirations.

22

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

Employment & volunteering searches

Budgeting and tenancy skills

Gym sessions

Studio workshops

Relaxation classes

Football

Literacy and numeracy groups

The various activities and projects that members participate in can help to develop confidence, problem

courses in the local college thus ensuring social inclusion into the community.

solving and team working skills, improve communication

Resources

and build a sense of achievement through participation

For more information, visit www.shilhay.org.uk

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

23


CONNECT | AUTUMN 2009

MEANINGFUL OCCUPATIONS, INDEPENDENT LIVES

As a result of members’ feedback and consultation the

Mel James, Occupational Therapist, and

Through the assessment process, an action plan is jointly

Marc Colson, Project Manager, at Exeter

created, encouraging members to attend groups which

Shilhay Community discuss how the

will best facilitate their progress, as well as signposting to

Meaningful Occupation Project (MOP)

other relevant agencies. The activities timetable is created

has encouraged and employed more than

using the outcomes from assessments in order to make

70 individuals a week at many levels,

them meaningful and relevant. The service aims to offer

including teaching, sound production

groups that meet educational, personal and leisure needs

and volunteer roles.

both inside the project, and out in the community.

The Exeter Meaningful Occupation Project (MOP) is part

By working in partnership with other agencies such as

of Exeter Shilhay Community Ltd, a charity that works with

members’ accommodation providers and other key

homeless and vulnerably housed adults. This includes

workers, the team can help to provide a holistic action plan

individuals with mental health and / or learning difficulties,

that takes into account the members’ accommodation

substance use issues, a history of offending, asylum seekers,

needs alongside their occupational aspirations.

refugees and survivors of domestic violence.

Model

The project offers a range of structured activities for

The staff use the Model of Human Occupation (MoHO)

members to improve and maintain their health, wellbeing

to promote a holistic approach to working with project

and quality of life, whilst promoting independence and

members. A variety of assessment tools is available to fit

integration into the community through self actualisation.

within this framework, including a specifically designed

The Team The MOP team consists of a manager, senior project worker, 2 Occupational Therapists, a project assistant, and 2 part time administration workers. The staff are supported by a large team of tutors and volunteers who deliver many

MoHO-based assessment, the Star Outcomes Measure and International Treatment Effectiveness Plan (ITEP) maps. The Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) is also offered. This enables the project to be flexible in its approach according to the varying needs of the members. Activities

activities are structured to fulfil members’ aspirations.

The following table is just a sample of some of the

MOP adopts an ethos of client-centeredness, aiming to empower members to achieve their aspirations and goals,

activities which are regularly offered to members. A gardening project

service schedule has changed from a monthly timetable to a term-time programme using the ‘holiday’ periods to access fun learning activities such as team building games, bush craft skills, kayaking, sailing and surfing lessons and map reading on nearby Dartmoor. These activities promote team working, communication skills, problem solving, creativity and initiative as well as positively influencing self-esteem and confidence and providing individuals with a heightened sense of achievement. A Typical Week Each day within MOP there is variety, change and differing The House of Stories: Shilhay’s story-telling, art and music project resulted in a children’s CD and activity book.

Art

Information technology

individual experiences, so it is important that the staff team are genuinely flexible within their roles. A typical week may involve; inducting new members, carrying out

Other project work has included a highly creative socially inclusive community show and a children’s stories CD recording project. Members are currently working on designing and running a fashion show employing recycling, budgeting and craft skills to create new designs in a time of ‘credit crunch’. An animation project has also been commissioned to be run this autumn on the theme of prejudice. Social Enterprise Development MOP is currently exploring a new social enterprise

of the activities and work with the staff to ensure that the

Ethos

FEATURES

inphotography and marketing which will be supported with photography and writing skills courses. The project has teamed up with Exeter City Council and the Choice Based Lettings Scheme where MOP members will be tasked to take the photographs of properties, edit the

assessments or reviews, preparing and facilitating groups, planning new projects, networking and promoting the service, and one-to-one work with members in line with specific areas of need. Informal interactions with members also take place which can lead to the disclosure of additional specific needs in the areas of housing, health, advocacy, education, volunteering and more besides. Consultation Members are encouraged to attend the weekly operations meetings. Essentially these are staff meetings which look at the planning and delivery of services, health and safety, fundraising and policy. Members can therefore be very involved in the process and are part of the decision making alongside the team. Summary

through groups and 1-1 activities which seek to build

images, write descriptions of properties and local

MOP is providing and facilitating occupational interventions

self- esteem, promote skills and personal development

amenities, and upload all data to the local authority

that are meaningful to their members, in order to build

website. It is hoped that a number of paid positions

on engagement and improve positive outcomes. MOP

will be created in this business.

members have gone on to become employed or attend

and enhance social networks. Process Through the process of application, induction, assessment

Music group

Cooking skills

and day to day interaction, staff begin to build positive relationships with members, gaining a good understanding of where they are at, and what they want to achieve i.e. their aspirations.

22

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

Employment & volunteering searches

Budgeting and tenancy skills

Gym sessions

Studio workshops

Relaxation classes

Football

Literacy and numeracy groups

The various activities and projects that members participate in can help to develop confidence, problem

courses in the local college thus ensuring social inclusion into the community.

solving and team working skills, improve communication

Resources

and build a sense of achievement through participation

For more information, visit www.shilhay.org.uk

WWW.HOMELESS.ORG.UK

23


Connect 37