Roots to achievement
Name of the organisation:
Salvation Army Housing Association
Phone: 01273 615 304
Clients acquire employability skills and knowledge through setting up a social enterprise.
Who was involved?
Clients, staff, AgeUK, Hastings Furniture Project and other agencies.
In order to achieve their housing support outcomes clients wanted to acquire employment skills through creating a social enterprise. Young people attended ‘Successful Enterprise’ training provided at the Foyer by a voluntary agency Community Catalysts. They identified activities such as art, carpentry, sewing, photography and music that would enable them to try out their newly acquired personal skills in the Foyer. Clients then were able to look at how they could turn their skills into goods or services that were marketable. The main areas were furniture restoration and redesign, art and craft goods. Clients have worked with a local charity and utilised their workshop space to re-vamp the furniture. They have also received donated furniture from the charity. They will also run a market stall, exhibiting work and are working towards an open house at the Foyer. One of unexpected outcomes from this work is the relationship that has been developed with AgeUK that has also lead to volunteering opportunities for clients. Clients complete ready to work audits of acquired skills and training logs are kept in their files.
The pilot project started in August 2013 and will be completed in December 2014 however it has changed the way support in this area is delivered which will be ongoing.
What evidence have you had this has improved outcomes for individuals using services?
- Clients are in the driving seat directing support in this area by identifying their aspirations and what will take them there.
- Clients have acquired skills and experience that support them in achieving economic well- being and by working with other voluntary organisations make a positive contribution.
How this resulted in improved outcomes for the service itself?
- Professional support to clients is kept to a minimum and can be directed to where it is most effective.
- The service has developed relationships with other community organisations including older people’s services.
What challenges did the organisation face? How were these resolved?
Time and resources – initially clients needed staff investment to support coming up with ideas; however once this has been made it becomes self sufficient and appointing client leaders helped this. Also given the vulnerability of some clients and their negative experiences staff still need to spend time encouraging but this is now part of their support offer.
Are there any resources or top tips to share?
Coming soon by mid-July 2014