Grant for IT boosts Pandemic support

Grant for IT boosts Pandemic support

A £30,000 grant is enabling Turning Lives Around to boost the support it is able to provide some of Leeds’ and Wakefield’s most vulnerable people in housing need during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Working to prevent homelessness, Turning Lives Around support those with complex needs who are in need of housing or at risk of losing their home. This includes young people aged 16+ and teenage parents, people with drug and alcohol dependency, former offenders, female sex workers, care leavers and other young people at risk of child sexual exploitation and offending and those with physical or mental health issues.

Support workers largely work in person on a one-to-one basis with clients but when the Pandemic struck this support had to become remote either on the phone or with a reliance on Information Technology that TLA just didn’t have.

That’s where Homeless Link came in. With funding from the National Lottery Community Fund and Comic Relief, this national membership charity for organisations working directly with people who become homeless in England opened-up applications from homelessness organisations affected directly by Covid-19.

The £30,000 grant TLA has received has been invested in IT to enable remote working with communication between support workers and clients becoming visual and virtual ‘face-to-face’ once again.

“Not having that visual contact with clients can be highly detrimental not only in terms of the effectiveness of how we can work with them but also on the support workers’ ability to pick up on any physical or mental wellbeing or safeguarding concerns,” explained TLA’s Chief Executive Janet Spencer.

“For many of our clients living alone, being confined to their homes by the Pandemic increased their feeling of social isolation. Their support workers are often the only contact they have so to be able to do this visually online is a lifeline for many.”

As well as enabling the effective delivery of essential services to clients, the improved IT is also providing much needed wellbeing support and training for staff working from home or in TLA’s residential accommodation and allowing multi-agency integrated ways of working with partner organisations to resume providing joined-up support for clients.

“The grant from Homeless Link has been tremendous in allowing us to continue meeting the needs of our clients and staff in as effective and safe way as possible in these restricted times,” added Janet.