On the way to 100%

“I always enjoy trips and am looking forward to starting the computer course, I also want to start helping in the garden…” This is just one of the positive comments that we received about the Justlife workshop programme in Manchester.

Justlife offers its service users the chance to experience new things, learn new skills, and see new places that they may not have seen without help. Trying new things comes with a price tag that can be difficult to justify for those in today’s tight economy… but with thanks to funders like People’s Health Trust and the Big Lottery Fund, we are able to open up new and exciting opportunities for the vulnerable and homeless adults with whom we work. And these opportunities really do work…

We recently carried out a survey, asking a number of our service users how Justlife had helped them in specific areas of their lives. 79% of those questioned said that Justlife had given them the opportunity to try new things or visit somewhere new and this was key for personal development and confidence building. New experiences allow service users to challenge themselves and broaden their understanding of the society around them.

Tim, who had only been coming to drop-in meals for years and not engaging in any other way, came to a go karting trip. He then came to the cinema, to play football and on various other mens trips. These were opportunities for Tim to build relations with others and workers, challenge himself and have fun! It is safe to say that he realised that there is more to life. Since then we have helped Tim address his addiction issues; having been homeless for over 10 years we have rehoused him into safe, secure accommodation and he has done the Justlife IT course. It has been an incredible transformation.

93% said that they had benefitted from group activities. This is essential as it allows service users to interact with people who are dealing with similar issues as they are, but that are also trying to overcome those issues, providing a positive group environment. 93% also said they had made new friends, essential for personal growth and development.

Whilst Justlife would obviously like to boost those numbers to 100 per cent, it is clear evidence to us that we are on the right track with what we offer to our service users. It also helps us see the positives, when quite often we face negative situations.