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7 things Justlife has achieved since last year’s Big Give Christmas Challenge

  • 4 min read |
  • Posted by Justlife
  • On 04 November 2021

With the Big Give Christmas Challenge fast approaching, we’d like to reflect on what we’ve achieved since last year’s Big Give! Thanks to a number of charity fundraising events and our generous supporters, we raised over £20,000 which was doubled to £40,000, making a huge contribution to our lifeline services for people living in temporary accommodation in Brighton and Manchester. This is what you enabled us to achieve in the past year…

1. Outreach minibus to support more homeless UTA residents in Greater Manchester

Every fortnight, we use our minibus to visit UTA properties, enabling us to meet with an increasing number of residents without the barrier of them having to travel to us. Inside the minibus, residents can seek advice from our support workers for any issues they are facing, and have private 1-1 appointments inside the minibus over some snacks and refreshments.

UTA is private rented accommodation (B&Bs, hostels etc.) where people who are homeless have few housing rights, and receive limited support to find a home. Through regular visits to UTA, we have been able to build trust in our services, and reach people who may otherwise have slipped through the cracks.

2. Launch of a new homeless health care co-production project

Common Ambition offers people who have been affected by homelessness paid opportunities to feedback on their experiences of health care in Brighton & Hove. The project aims to use this feedback to shape homeless health care in the city, giving the people who use these services a say in how the services are run.

3. Peer Support Group for people moving away from homelessness

Many people struggle with loneliness, isolation and connecting with their local community on their journey away from homelessness. The Social Connection Project matches people with a volunteer who they can chat to over the phone or do activities with every week such as going for a walk or attending an event together - whatever they fancy!

The project now includes a peer support group that meets at a local venue in Brighton to chat, connect and support one another, giving all attendees the opportunity to make new friends, share their feelings, and seek advice in an open, non-judgemental space.

4. Digital inclusion work to improve access to technology

Since last year, we’ve given out almost 100 free tablets, phones and headphones to people who would otherwise be unable to afford them. Our Digital Engagement worker has provided a weekly doorstep service to help people use their new devices for their needs - whether that’s being able to manage their own Universal Credit, bid on properties, access online support services, or contact loved ones.

‘’I can’t thank you enough David and all at Justlife for my new phone, you are all stars, thank you"

5. Appointing a new Out-of-Area Support Worker for East Sussex

This year, we appointed a new Health Engagement worker to support people who are placed in temporary accommodation out of area (in a different area to where they became homeless). This role involves helping people settle into their new area, and collaborating with local authorities, housing providers, and other support services to help clients access medical care, housing and benefits. In addition to advocating on their behalf, we also work towards reconnecting clients back to Brighton & Hove housing services, with the aim of getting them back to their area they call home.

6. Weekly supply deliveries to temporary accommodation

Over 200 people have received regular deliveries of hot meals, food shops for home cooking, activity packs, and cleaning / personal hygiene products. We also continue to provide “move-in” packs that include kettles, toasters, radio clocks, plates, cutlery, cooking equipment and bedding, to help people settle into their new accommodation.

7. Probation Project generates £1.96 of value for every £1 invested

One of our Manchester projects supports people who leave prison homeless and end up in UTA. By helping people adjust to life outside of prison, build resilience, and independence skills, the project aims to move people away from homelessness, and reduce the likelihood of returning to prison.

A cost benefit analysis undertaken by Bright Ideas Partnership found that the project generates almost double the amount of value than funds invested in it. All clients have expressed improvements to their health, wellbeing and independent living skills, and almost a third have secured alternative housing. The project also saves public money by reducing contact with the probation service, prisons and the Ministry of Justice.

Thank you once again to everyone who supported our Big Give campaign last year - without you, many of our support services wouldn’t exist and the people living in temporary accommodation we support would continue to face homelessness alone.

Please support this year’s campaign
and help us raise money for our Health Engagement work, Social Connection, Targeted Referrals and Mobile Justlife. From 30th November - 7th of December, your donations are matched £ for £ at no extra cost to you!