Mayday Trust launches 'innovative' three year homelessness programme to help 100 youngsters

Mayday Trust will deliver a new three-year programme designed to combat homelessness in Northamptonshire, following a collaboration between the social sector, local government and social investors.

Wednesday, 11th October 2017, 11:54 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 9:59 am

‘Be the Change’ is a new intervention designed to initially help 100 homeless and unemployed young people who are going through particularly difficult times in their lives.

It is based on Mayday’s Personal Transitions Services (PTS), an ‘assets-based’ approach that focuses on identifying people’s strengths and then providing the personalised support they need to achieve their aspirations. It uses 'normal' housing rather than hostels or supported accommodation, in the belief that this helps the young people to live more independently.

The programme has been commissioned by First for Wellbeing CIC, a social enterprise set up as a partnership between Northamptonshire County Council, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Northampton.

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Janet Doran, managing director of First for Wellbeing CIC Limited added: "We are looking to empower individuals and rebuild the lives of over 100 people through this project, supporting each individual to effectively manage their own wellbeing, prevent them from becoming involved in in crime, rough sleeping, and substance misuse and thus reducing long term dependence on other services.”

Its aim is to improve the long-term health and wellbeing of the people of Northamptonshire by streamlining existing services and testing new approaches.

Aaron, who has requested anonymity, used Mayday as an alcoholic ex-offender whose drinking had resulted in him being kicked out of the family home - he had since been sleeping rough for several years.

He said Mayday gave him a place to live, but also worked with him to identify what he would like to do in the future. He has since completed IT qualifications, lives independently, and is getting treatment for his addiction issues.

He said: “Instead of drinking to escape the daily life I had before, I’m doing new things to fill my time with that I enjoy. I no longer need to escape reality because actually, reality is quite nice now.”

This contract – which was structured with support from Numbers for Good, a specialist social finance advisor, and supported by the Big Lottery Fund using National Lottery funding – will operate on an 'outcomes basis', with Mayday receiving payments when it moves the young people into stable accommodation and finds them employment.

To deliver the project, Mayday will receive up-front funding and support from Bridges Fund Management via the Bridges Social Impact Bond Fund, which now backs 19 outcomes-based programmes.

This programme is intended as a pilot initiative; if successful, Mayday and Bridges hope to roll it out further.