We are committed to developing and supporting a workforce of people with experience of homelessness to participate in designing and delivering solutions to homelessness whilst progressing in their own lives.
The Progression Programme exists to help us achieve this goal.
Progression Manager Pat and Progression Advisor Magdalene use coaching to help all volunteers and staff with experience of homelessness identify their goals and overcome the barriers that may be preventing them from achieving them.
Many of Groundswell’s volunteers have gone on to jobs including nurses, carers, interpreters or support workers within homelessness organisations.
Individual’s progression is personal to them therefore the support they receive through the Progression Programme puts the person and their needs and goals at the core.
People come to Groundswell at a variety of stages on their journey out of homelessness. Too often systemic problems (online forms for benefit applications, rogue landlords, services working in silos) are preventing people from progressing – that’s why the Progression Programme is essential.
“The trust and support you get from your colleagues and the Progression Coaches at Groundswell is considered, but the human touch it’s delivered with makes you want to engage.”
Mat talks about his journey from homelessness to volunteering, to becoming part of Groundswells’ research team as a staff member.
Areas we offer our staff and volunteers support in include:
- Pastoral: we offer people flexibility to build confidence and self-esteem and keeps them volunteering in a challenging role. The open culture Groundswell creates recognises the difficulties people face and offers flexibility to deal with personal challenges. the Progression Programme helps people realise their worth and abilities by building confidence and focusing on strengths.
- Employment: we aim to support those that want to work, to be ready. Volunteering increases employability nevertheless additional support is often required focussing on CV writing and interview practice.
- Legal and welfare: this may be housing issues, Personal Independent Payment (PIP) tribunals or benefit discrepancies. It takes a lot of time and detailed level of understanding to manage these issues, having someone on your side with knowledge and the ability to give emotional support is critical, particularly in a daunting environment with complex terminology and procedures.
- Mental health and wellbeing: the solution is unique to the individual, but we offer a range of support including group clinical supervision, human givens therapy and shiatsu massage.