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ual Review n n A 2012

Living Happily, Living Safely


hire Hou s d r sin ffo a Group g St

In April 2012 Arch became a part of the Staffordshire Housing Group. Arch works alongside Staffordshire Housing Association, Blue Mountain Housing Association and Revival Home Improvement Agency to provide a diverse range of homes and services across Staffordshire and Cheshire. We are recognised as a group that does what it says it will, responds rapidly to changing needs and works alongside a variety of partners to deliver solutions. We are energised and inspired by the voice and influence of customers and communities.


A

ssage from Ar e M c

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2012 has been both a challenging and exciting year for Arch. We joined the Staffordshire Housing Group in April this year and are now part of a group of social organisations that have customer service at its core. Joining together allows us to draw on the experience of a number of specialists, so that we can provide the best possible service for our customers.

Diane Lea - Chief Executive

It’s been a busy year with new projects and challenges during a tough economic environment but we think that the stories and experiences that our customers have provided for this annual review show you what we’ve been doing to help, support and encourage our customers to live safely and independently. We hope that when you read them that you are as inspired as we are with their strength, determination and success. Finally we would like to thank all of our supporters – you help us make it all happen!

Paul Bridges Director of Care and Support


ial Statem c n a en n i t F

During 2011/12, we secured £1.7m from charitable trusts and foundations. In addition, to contributing to our charitable activities, this funding also brings employment opportunities for local communities. Our full annual report and accounts for 2011/12 are available for download on our website www.archnorthstaffs. org.uk/thisisarch/annualinformation or by visiting www.charitycommission.gov.uk

* * * * *

Last year, for every £1 of income we spent, 90p went directly on ‘charitable activities’

*Denotes £million

Despite the economic climate, over the last 4 years our income has increased by 33%. 08/09 £2.56m 09/10 £2.57m 10/11 £3m 11/12 £3.4m Our streams of income remain balanced across: • Fundraising • Rents • Contracts • Grants


uge Service f e s R

Refuge Services Arch has four women’s refuges across Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire and Cheshire. They all provide safe and secure accommodation and a dedicated support service for victims/survivors of domestic abuse and their children.


Refuge Services Case Study Amina* arrived in the UK in November 2007 on a multi entry, highly skilled migrant dependent visa with a degree in biomedical sciences. She had 3 children all under 5 when she was referred to our domestic violence refuge service in November 2011 after confiding in her health visitor - revealing that she was suffering ongoing domestic abuse from her husband. The initial few weeks after the referral saw Amina make the difficult decision to leave the family home and move into the refuge with her 3 children. She had very little money and limited family possessions and due to her immigration status she had no access to benefits and was struggling to provide for her children. Arch therefore arranged to support the family through our residents’ fund and other charitable and volunteer agencies. It became apparent very quickly that two of Amina’s three children had additional educational and emotional needs. Following a Common Assessment Framework (CAF) meeting a multi-agency framework was put into place to support the whole family. Both children were referred to the local child development centre where the eldest child was diagnosed with autism and the second child referred to a behavioral specialist with the hope that each child will go on to attend mainstream school.

The youngest child has not as yet presented with any additional developmental needs and attends regular sessions in our playroom to ensure that she has ample time to develop her own personality and identity. Amina has engaged closely with her Support Worker to meet the Every Child Matters’ areas and therefore learnt how to ensure that she and her children: stay safe, be healthy, achieve and maintain economic independence, meet their personal goals and enjoy life and make a positive contribution to the community in which they live. The family is now being helped by a solicitor who is working pro bono to obtain their ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’ in the UK. Whilst they await this decision they remain supported and cared for by Arch staff in our safe refuge.

Refuge Services


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In Cheshire East, Arch provides Floating Support for female victims as well as safe refuge accommodation. However we also have a specialist Male Victims Floating Support Officer. We believe that an essential aspect of supporting and helping to meet the needs of male domestic abuse victims and survivors is to challenge myths and stereotypes, and to remove the barriers that prevent men accessing the help and support they need. Dedicated 1-2-1 prevention and education is crucial.


Cheshire East Domestic Abuse Services Case Study Brian* was referred to the Cheshire East Domestic Abuse Services in 2011 by a Housing Officer after he had been assaulted by his wife for a number of months. At this time Brian’s self-esteem was very low but after working closely with his Arch Support Worker he developed action plans and a support strategy using the Empowerment Star™ programme to address his needs and to plan for the future. Arch helped Brian to move away from his wife and supported him in gaining his own tenancy in a new town. Despite the abuse, moving away from his wife was very difficult for Brian and his health deteriorated and his alcohol use increased. He was also struggling financially and was eventually diagnosed with depression.

During this difficult time Arch continued to help Brian - his Support Worker saw him weekly and provided telephone support whenever he needed. Following a period of time taking prescribed medication and managing to only drink the daily recommended units, Brian continues to follow his action plan and now has a keen interest in gardening and maintains his own vegetable patch. He has also recently made contact with his daughter from his first marriage who he hasn’t seen for 10 years – a huge step in a very positive direction for Brian.

Cheshire East Domestic Abuse Services


ces

er Servi ffend O

Offender Services Arch Offender Services help and support offenders to find and secure permanent solutions to homelessness by encouraging them to break the cycle of offending and make positive contributions to the community. We support single people, both male and female, who are over 18 and in housing crisis with a history of offending. We offer accommodation in a range of shared properties and each customer is allocated a Key Worker. Individual support packages are tailored to help each of our customers become more employable, develop a more stable lifestyle and become financially independent.


Offender Services Case Study Following on-going issues in his family home, Carl* became homeless and moved into our supported accommodation. He had a history of offending following a troubled and disruptive childhood but was working hard with his Probation Officer to prevent him re-offending in the future.

so, Carl successfully gained a volunteer placement which helped to build up his transferable skills and self-confidence. Carl was then offered a position with a local charity and has now moved on to his own council tenancy having also reestablished links with his family.

Carl has minor learning difficulties and suffers with severe depression and anxiety. He therefore found it very difficult to settle into his new home at first. He became very withdrawn and struggled to engage with staff and other customers. Carl was allocated a Key Worker and was referred to Re-think. After spending time working with a counsellor he grew in confidence, self belief and learnt how to recognise and manage the triggers for his depression.

With Arch’s help, Carl has worked incredibly hard to provide himself with a stable home and future.

Arch encouraged Carl to take part in various different customer involvement activities including cooking skills sessions, a basic IT course and an employability course. All of the sessions helped Carl with his social skills and he began to communicate well with other customers and staff. Having never had a full time job Carl had very little confidence in finding employment so his Key Worker and Transition Adviser worked with him to identify the areas of work he was interested in and the barriers he was facing. In doing

Offender Services


Yo

ople’s Se e P rvi g n ce u

s Young People’s Services Young People’s Services offers a wide range of services to help and support our customers. Supported Lodgings provides accommodation with host families for young people who are not ready to live independently and require support to develop independent living skills. The Wise Up! Programme provides support and assistance to young people who are drinking excessively. We also deliver the Independence1st programme which is a range of homelessness prevention and awareness raising sessions in schools. In addition to these services we are also a part of the Stepping Up Youth Support Network. A consortium of seven partnership agencies, from both the voluntary and


private sectors, who aim to support young people through the transition of leaving care and moving on to independent living. The aim of the service is to encourage self-sufficiency and to support young people to gain invaluable skills and knowledge which will assist and empower them through to adulthood. Each individual who is leaving, or who has left, care is supported by a Transitions Advisor. The Transition Advisor helps to co-ordinate a flexible action plan that will benefit the individual and support the young person in achieving their goals. Stepping Up Case Study Tom* 19, was placed in care at the age of 12 after experiencing years of abuse at home. It was an extremely difficult time for Tom and he struggled socially and emotionally having been separated from his siblings. He still speaks today about how much he misses them and would love to live near them. Tom was placed in 37 different care settings none of which he settled well in. He never enjoyed school and left education with no qualifications and very low self-esteem. Tom was placed in his own accommodation at the age of 18 but felt very “scared and alone” in his own flat. He was supported through this transition by a Social Worker and then referred to Arch’s Stepping Up service in July 2012. Tom met with his Transition Advisor immediately who assessed him using the Teen Star™ – an online assessment and action planning tool which

helped identify his needs. It became clear that Tom had dreams and aspirations, but also worries and fears and he lacked the confidence and belief in himself to achieve more. Tom’s Transition Advisor helped him register with a doctor and dentist and arranged for him to receive an overdue health check. They helped him manage bills and create a payment plan for his TV licence, and also discovered that whilst he didn’t think that he’d cope with college and large educational group settings he would like to work in catering or hospitality. A meeting was set up with career advisors and Tom applied to the De Vere Academy of Hospitality. As he waited anxiously for his interview Tom was very nervous but with gentle coaching, practice question runs and emotional support from his Advisor he was successful and gained a place on the course as a Hospitality Apprentice. Tom’s Advisor agreed to accompany him on the bus journey to and from the Academy on his first two days; following this Tom felt that he could then complete the journey confidently on his own. He spoke of overwhelming anxiety of being in such a large group of people but overcame this fear to complete the first couple of days and really enjoy it.

Tom is still working hard on his apprenticeship and hopes that eventually this will lead to full time employment. Tom still maintains regular contact with his Transition Advisor. They meet up and discuss any issues or progress and implement new targets to help him progress and grow. Tom has taken part in customer involvement activities within Arch and the Young People’s Service by sitting on interview panels for staff recruitment and also publishing a short story for the staff newsletter. “Stepping Up has helped me feel more confident with independent living. I think there are lots of positive things they can offer and would definitely recommend them to other young people.”


estic Violen m Do reach Serv ce ice t u s O

Domestic Violence Outreach Services The Domestic Violence Outreach Team provides support and advice for women and men who are the victims and survivors of domestic abuse. Domestic violence is an extremely complex issue. In order for us to deliver the most appropriate and effective service to each individual it is important that we have a wide range of service provision. This includes: a confidential helpline, 1-21 advocacy support, male and female Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA), a dedicated Support Worker for gay, bisexual and transgender men and access to local and national refuges. We also facilitate the Freedom Programme,


a 30 week accredited perpetrator programme, the Relationships without Fear (RwF) programme and volunteer training courses.

Domestic Violence Outreach Case Study Becky’s* marriage broke down after she was abused by her husband. She was referred to Arch’s Domestic Violence Team after she had moved into her own home with her child. The team assessed Becky immediately and found that she needed help both financially and emotionally. Becky had very low self-esteem and lacked confidence in all areas of her life. She was also under a great deal of pressure from her ex-partner to conform to his child access arrangements but due to her low selfesteem she felt unable to stand up to him and challenge his demands which then led to continued abuse through her child and the childcare arrangements. Becky and her child were also referred to the Relationships without Fear (RwF) programme. RwF is a programme that provides a safe space where children can discuss their thoughts, feelings and experiences of domestic violence and it gave Becky’s child an opportunity to understand the conflicts that they had witnessed. Becky’s Key Worker felt that it was essential to address her confidence issues, hoping that in doing so she would be able to take control of her life and help

her make her own decisions. During the next few support sessions, Becky and her Outreach Worker carried out some role play, discussing and practicing how Becky would deal with and approach her partner when discussing childcare arrangements. At the next meeting Becky realised that she could confidently and safely challenge her ex-partner when discussing childcare arrangements by using some of the techniques she had learnt during her role play sessions. However, she was now concerned that her ex-partner would try and take their child out of the country. She was advised to get legal advice immediately and her Outreach Support Worker made a referral to social care services that same day.

make decisions for herself and her child. Becky is working towards maintaining strong, healthy relationships with others and is looking forward to a future free from abuse.

Since her referral, Becky has completed the Freedom Programme, and a Contact Order has been put in place for her child through the courts. She continues to have weekly support from her Outreach Worker and is successfully managing to

Domestic Violence Outreach Services


ndent Hou e p sin e d v i Ser ces g In

Independent Housing Services Arch Independent Housing Services (IHS) offers a wide range of services tailored to meet the needs of each of our customers. Ordinary Homes provides access to private rented sector accommodation. The Furniture Grant Service offers a basic furniture package for customers who have secured permanent accommodation following a period of homelessness or those who have been living in temporary accommodation. Our Tenancy Training Course is designed to guide customers through the basics of being a good tenant. Thru the Gate is a service that prepares customers who are serving a custodial sentence for independent living, by offering support and Tenancy


Training Programmes within the prison, and assisting the customer to secure accommodation on their release. IHS also works in partnership with Housing Solutions to provide support to customers who are priority homeless to house them in temporary accommodation. This service provides resettlement support once permanent accommodation has been secured. Independent Housing Case Study Sarah*, 33, was referred to Independent Housing Services in the summer of 2012. Sarah had served 24 months in prison for assault carried out whilst under the influence of alcohol and on her release resided in Arch Ex-Offenders Supported Accommodation. Sarah had maintained a tenancy prior to her time in prison and after a few months in Arch accommodation Sarah was ready, with support from the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Project Officer, to begin living independently again. Sarah’s life had been quite chaotic before her prison sentence and her relationship with her son had suffered. It was important for her to begin re-building her relationship with her son and she hoped to have regular contact with him. As a requirement of the Private Rented Sector (PRS) Service, Sarah attended our Tenancy Training Course. The course is designed to guide customers through the basics of being a good tenant which includes budgeting, setting up utilities, and improving

communications. The course is free and accredited by Open College Network West Midlands. Following the course we helped Sarah to apply to the Stoke-on-Trent City Council Bond Scheme so she could apply for a house in the private rented sector. Independent Housing Services loaned Sarah the Letting Agents administration fee and she was successful in securing a two bed terraced house. The PRS Project Officer then helped Sarah to apply to the Independent Housing Services Furniture Scheme which provided her with a brand new basic furniture pack (single bed, bedding, single chair, cloth wardrobe, fridge, cooker and a set of pans). We also identified, through the Risk Assessment Support Plan the areas that Sarah needed support with. This highlighted the concerns she had around her binge drinking, putting her at risk of re-offending, so specialist sources of help were identified. Sarah’s priority once she was re-housed was to improve her relationship with her son and she recognised that she could benefit from a course on parenting skills, so we made a referral to a local group. One of the first challenges that Sarah

faced in her new tenancy was a leak in the kitchen and although she had completed the Tenancy Training Course, she struggled to communicate effectively with her landlord. However the situation was easily resolved, with encouragement and support from the PRS Project Officer. Sarah now feels confident in speaking to the Landlord and Letting Agent should any further issues arise. For the next six months Sarah will continue to receive support from her PRS Project Officer to help her maintain her tenancy, achieve financial independence and continue to develop her relationship with her son. A settled lifestyle will greatly reduce the risk of Sarah re-offending and consequently losing her home. She is also looking for paid employment, and hopes that her son will live with her in the near future so they can enjoy a settled, family life together.


g and Educ n i ati n r v i a o Ser ces e L

n

Learning and Education Services Arch Learning and Education Services aims to provide Arch customers with the skills they need to live independently. We help people to improve their lives by introducing new activities, helping people to gain employment or training and increase peoples self-confidence and self-esteem. The Get Ready 4 Employability Programme, run by the Learning and Education Services Team, aims to help improve the confidence, motivation and the communication and employability skills of our customers.


Learning and Services Case Study

Education

The Get Ready 4 Employability Programme is designed to provide customers with the necessary skills they need to seek and secure an education placement, apprenticeship/training placement or a job. Participants must be between 16-20 years old and claim Job Seekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance or Incapacity Benefit to qualify for the programme. Lee* was only two years old when his Dad suffered an emotional breakdown—this led to his parents separating. As a result, Lee along with his twin brother began living with their maternal grandmother. When the boys were only six years old they lost their Gran and Lee and his brother returned to live with their Dad and Step-mum. During his childhood Lee struggled at school and he found it difficult to make friends. Eventually Lee left home and decided to join the Army where he served in Germany, but due to family illness Lee left the Army after four years. On leaving the Army Lee was accused of racial harassment and served seven weeks on remand. He was found not guilty but was convicted of theft. Following his release from prison Lee found there was no room within the family home to accommodate him so he became homeless and began a life of ‘sofa surfing’ (staying on friend’s/family’s sofas). In 2012, Lee lost his job and

started to claim Job Seekers Allowance. It was at this point that Lee turned to Arch and was housed by the Supported Housing Team and then referred to the Learning and Education Service to begin the Get Ready Programme. During his time on the programme Lee displayed the ability to work with the other customers as a team and would often take the lead in many activities. Lee was very open to sharing his life experiences and the difficulties he had encountered with the group. As part of the programme Lee learned how to complete a CV and received extensive support from the Get Ready Senior Project Officer in identifying a work placement. As a result of accessing the programme Lee has now secured full time employment with a distribution centre as a Warehouse Distribution Assistant.

Learning and Education Services


and Inclu g n i s sio u v i Ser ces n Ho

Housing and Inclusion Services Housing and Inclusion Services provide a range of  accommodation and resettlement services to single people who are experiencing homelessness  or who are at risk of homelessness, with a dedicated resettlement  service for refugees.   Supported Housing accommodates single people ages 16-65 who are in housing need. The service aims to help people secure permanent solutions to homelessness by providing them with the support and skills they need to live independently. Refugee Resettlement  provides advice and resettlement support helping


refugees to integrate fully into their new community. In addition to this we provide crisis accommodation for people with no recourse to public funds. Supported Housing Services Case Study At 9 years of age Selina* knew that she had been born into the wrong gender. Growing up as a male in the 1960’s was very difficult for Selina and no support was available to her at all during this time. She continued to live as a man, grew up, got married and had children. However, in 2004 she finally visited her doctor to explain what she had been thinking and feeling since she was a child and was then placed on the gender reassignment programme. But in 2005, to gain custody of her children, she had to remove herself from the programme and remain male. She cared for her children until they were old enough to decide for themselves who they wanted to live with and they unfortunately chose their mother. Selina became very isolated and depressed during this time and began to be tormented and abused by a group of residents in her local area. She was no longer active in her community and battled with alcohol dependence. Things also spiralled out of control financially and Selina ended up losing her property and going to prison for not paying her TV licence. Following prison Selina moved into Arch’s shared accommodation as a male but knew who she was and desperately wanted her old life back. Support

planning began immediately and following a long chat with her Key Worker, both parties agreed to work together to achieve the ultimate goal of Selina living independently as a woman. Using the Outcomes Star™ programme, and putting together action plans, Selina was encouraged to make the best use of her time and did so by enthusiastically completing five vocational courses that included Food and Catering, Customer Service Skills and Health and Safety at work. Selina also had other identified needs including help with previous debt, and her Key Worker helped her to put forward appeals against old decisions and sent them to the creditors to be pursued. Unfortunately it was not possible to get these old decisions overturned but it did help to highlight the debt issue, and from there her Key Worker helped set out a repayment plan for all of her debts. Selina has always had a high level of engagement with her support plans and this meant that she could move into single accommodation a little before time so that she could feel comfortable enough to explore her gender issues again. Selina was moved to a single unit closer to where she had previously worked in the community. She had been a

volunteer, supporting elderly residents in that area before moving to Arch accommodation and found it difficult to travel. This move allowed her to restart the support she had been giving. This spring-boarded her back into the LGBT network and her growing confidence helped her successfully secure the role of Head Chef at a local restaurant. She has also completed a number of ethnic cooking courses and is now enrolled on a professional cooking course. She has been a regular fixture at the Arch offices and has engaged with us at all levels, from taking part in workshops, interviewing potential staff members and speaking to our funders ‘Supporting People’. Selina legally changed her name to a female name in September 2012 and has just begun the consultation period to be placed on the gender reassignment programme.


th With anks

Each year, we have an opportunity to review the difference that we have made to people’s lives and, year on year, we continue to be amazed. We have so many, many people to thank for their ongoing support. Our work would not be possible without the financial support, belief, encouragement and commitment of a diverse range of individuals, organisations, local businesses, grant makers and members of the local community. Although we say this every year, our biggest thank you really does go to our customers whose strength and courage never fails to amaze us. We would like to say an extra special thank you to those customers who have bravely shared their stories with us for this annual review. For further information, please visit our website: www.archnorthstaffs.org.uk/with-thanks-to/ *All of the names in our case studies have been changed to protect the identity of our customers.


For more information on all of our services please contact

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Registered Charity No. 701376 | Company Limited by Guarantee | Registered in England and Wales No. 0235 7520 Arch is a part of the Staffordshire Housing Group


Arch Annual Review 2012