The 2014 awards are now closed, See details of the winning projects below!
Winners of the 2014 awards:
1st Prize: £30,000
Groundswell UK’s ‘Homeless Health Peer Advocacy Service’
Homeless people have complex health needs and are extremely expensive patients because they often miss appointments, have multiple health problems but low adherence to treatment and have high levels of unplanned admissions to hospital. By offering one-to-one support for homeless people to attend health appointments Groundswell’s Homeless Health Peer Advocacy service addresses all these issues. Volunteers and employed project workers - all who are former volunteers themselves with personal experience of homelessness - provide not only practical support such as travel fares, reminders and accompaniment to appointments but crucially build the skills, confidence and knowledge to enable clients to continue accessing health services independently.
2nd Prize: £15,000
Praxis Community Project’s ‘Temporary Homes’
Temporary Homes is a housing programme supporting vulnerable homeless migrant individuals and families with immigration support needs and/or No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) from outside the European Union. Emergency accommodation is provided as a means to resolve immigration issues and thereby unlocking housing pathways. As its name indicates, the project provides temporary accommodation, mostly between 6 weeks and 3 months, although some limited placements are set up for up to 2 years. The project is transitional in nature with a very high level of positive outcomes, i.e. more permanent accommodation. The project also provides a home rather than basic shelter in self-catering accommodation, with volunteer hosts or faith communities.
3rd Prize: £10,000
Thames Reach’s ‘Peer Landlord London’
What marks this project out from other similar supported tenancy projects for people with a history of homelessness is that the ‘peer landlord’ is a co-tenant with a shared background who has gained a level of independence and experience and who is able to act as a positive role model; providing supportive housing, not supported housing. The Peer Landlords are not paid to provide any formal support to the tenants. Peer Landlords are trained in key areas such as basic housing management and maintenance awareness, as well as financial literacy – from paying bills to managing money.
New Horizon Youth Centre project called ‘London Youth Gateway Opens in a new window’
The London Youth Gateway has been shortlisted because it shows that strategically combining the resources of established and experienced homeless and voluntary sector agencies can create remarkably effective and responsive partnerships. A London Councils’ youth homelessness commission, it is a new partnership between New Horizon Youth Centre, Alone in London, Depaul UK and Stonewall Housing, each established providers of services for young homeless people, and the latter’s Jigsaw partners Albert Kennedy Trust, Pace and Galop. A young person who initially comes to London Youth Gateway because they need somewhere to stay that night will be automatically given access to a wider range of services to help them rebuild their life. From finding long-term accommodation to life skills development to vocational training or mental health counselling, the London Youth Gateway is tailors support to each individual.
Hestia Housing & Support’s ‘Children & Family Service’
Hestia’s Children and Family Service provides specialist support for children and their mothers who have been made homeless by domestic abuse and are living in Hestia’s 33 refuges across 12 London boroughs. Last year Hestia provided practical and emotional support to 450 children and their mothers. What makes this project stand out is that it focuses on helping mothers and children to better cope emotionally and psychologically in the long term rather than just at the point of crisis.
LB Tower Hamlets’ project called ‘Routes to Roots’
Tower Hamlets’ ‘Routes to Roots’ Service addresses one of the perennial challenges facing many of the capital’s hospitals – the struggle for Hospital Discharge Teams trying to source a rehousing option for their homeless out-of-borough patients. ‘Routes to Roots’ works with patients approaching the end of their hospital stay, identifying where and in which borough their local connection lies, and then supporting the patient to return to their home borough on discharge to access housing assistance from their own council. It also assists patients from abroad to reconnect to their country of origin where appropriate and where this is the patient’s preference.