Have your say today… and everyday

Today is the EU referendum. Whether you are in or out, the most important thing is that we actually have a chance to have our say, to vote, to put our point of view forward. And each vote, view or tick in the ballot box is worth just as much as anyone else’s point of view. Over the past 12 months we have been working with our service users to empower them to have their say. We have been using the drop-ins to talk about the referendum over the past few weeks and today we went to the polling station with a bunch of Justlife folk.

Since the General Election over a year ago, where we helped over 30 homeless and vulnerably housed people register to vote and vote, we have been encouraging our service users to have their say locally. Most recently we have organised a monthly tenants group, gathering tenants of unsupported temporary accommodation in Manchester to discuss issues and find solutions for social, environmental and systemic problems. Some of these tenants have received training and been part of the Manchester Homelessness Charter, raising issues to police, council, fire, health and voluntary services from across the city. In addition, council officers have consulted with the Justlife tenants group – enabling those with lived experience of unsupported temporary accommodation to have a say in local policy affecting them.

At Justlife service users have always played a key role in developing our services and their participation is only growing, as we learn about coproduction and new ways of involving service users in development and delivery.

On a wider scale those with lived experience continue to have their say through the Justlife research project into health and wellbeing impacts of living in unsupported temporary accommodation. Many are research participants and others are playing a role in building the recommendations. Click here for more info.

We are so proud of each and every one of our service users using their voice to make a difference today, on the ballot paper, and every day.