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IMG 9559

An update on our outreach minibus for Unsupported Temporary Accommodation (UTA)

  • 3 min read |
  • Posted by Justlife
  • On 30 July 2021

In May, we received a minibus from Edward Holt Trust to enable us to take our housing, health and wellbeing services to more people living in Unsupported Temporary Accommodation (UTA) across Greater Manchester.

Edward Holt Trust is the charitable arm of the Joseph Holt Brewery and funds a number of homelessness projects in the city. Justlife is so grateful for the support we’ve received from the trust, who worked really closely with us to design a multi-purpose minibus, fund the development of the vehicle, and provide further funding for an outreach worker.

We'd also like to thank the Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation who provided funding to kit out the minibus with a gazebo and chairs that we'll use to facilitate pop-up drop ins at UTA, and for funding the distribution of food (purchased from Fareshare), and PPE. This enabled us to work with residents in a covid-safe way at the height of the pandemic, which involved taking our support to them instead of asking them to come to us at the Justlife centre.

Mobile Justlife is also funded by the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity and the Nationwide Foundation (via the Test and Learn Grant) who have supported us in funding outreach/ landlord liaison workers that are critical to the success of this new approach.

It’s taken a couple of months to get the minibus ready to hit the road - partly because of pandemic restrictions, but mainly because we wanted to carefully plan how we are going to use it to ensure that our outreach workers feel confident. Since collecting the minibus, we have:

  • Compiled a user manual with instructions on how to use all of its amenities
  • Liaised with landlords and devised a new weekly plan to deliver pop-up drop ins at various UTA’s
  • Trained 3 members of staff to drive the minibus through MIDAS training
  • Ordered the van livery
  • Installed Wi-Fi

All of our drivers have passed the MIDAS test and been signed off as confident, capable and competent drivers by the instructor.

The final step was doing a trial run of a pop-up drop-in at the Justlife centre to practice using all the different features the minibus has such as making drinks and setting up the outdoor furniture (gazebo, table, chairs) that we’ll use to hold support appointments with clients.

Gazebo for drop-ins at Unsupported Temporary Accommodation

Now that we’re all set up, the plan is to deliver pop-up drop-ins at 3 different locations each fortnight - these will involve providing refreshments and activities to encourage people to sit and have a chat to one another and to Justlife staff, but also - for those needing more intensive support - to use the van for confidential 1-1’s. The van will also be used at other times during the week to visit properties that we’re already working with for an on-the-spot catch up with residents, and to visit new UTA properties that we’re exploring working with.

You can find out more about our Mobile support here.