Empowering people out of homelessness
Groundswell cannot exist without volunteers and their participation; they support the delivery of HHPA and all peer research, working towards our overall goal of helping move people out of homelessness.
The Volunteer Progression Programme:
- Enables formerly homeless volunteers to safely participate in our activities and feel supported in delivering their role effectively.
- Encourages volunteers to use their experience of homelessness to help improve the lives of people who are currently homeless.
- Empowers volunteers to use their experiences to make a positive contribution to society.
- Uses a coaching model to help volunteers focus on their strengths and abilities.
- Supports volunteers to build and sustain livelihoods beyond homelessness, so they can lead an independent future.
Groundswell’s ‘Give a lot – Get a lot’ ethos is central to the Volunteer Progression Programme – the idea that to be a part of something you need to invest in it and there needs to be clear benefits that you get in return.
The Progression Adviser
Pat is Groundswell’s Progression Adviser. She helps volunteers through one-to-one coaching; advocacy at meetings, tribunals etc.; supporting with completing forms, job searching, CV writing and job applications. Volunteers also receive group clinical supervision with a trained therapist.
By volunteering and receiving progress support our volunteers:
- Have increased confidence and self-esteem in their own abilities.
- Gain practical experience in managing their time and budgets.
- Improve their employability through training, coaching and front-line experience.
- Start paid work or further education.
- Addressing issues that have been barriers to personal progression for many years such as their immigration status, previous debt or an undiagnosed learning difficulty.
- Engage with peer networks who have ‘been in their shoes’.
During 2018 over 30% of our volunteers moved into jobs, further education or training. Jobs included becoming a carer, a researcher at a London hospital and an interpreter. We were also able to offer a number of volunteers paid roles here at Groundswell within our admin, research and HHPA teams.
The Progression Pprogramme is generously funded by the Halcrow Foundation and StreetSmart .