Groundswell was created in 1996 with the core belief that the
best way to tackle homelessness is with the direct involvement of homeless
people. Their work focuses on client involvement, peer research and health. With
over half of their staff and all volunteers having personal experience of
Health is a vital, yet often neglected, need for homeless
people, to address this Groundswell created Homeless Health Peer Advocacy (HHPA), which provides practical
support for homeless people to access health services; accompanying people to appointments
whilst building their skills and confidence.
Delivered by volunteers who all have personal experience of homelessness.
Progression Programme supports people to take more control of their lives
and move on - into jobs and training. Since the HHPA was set up in 2010, over
half of the volunteers have moved onto paid employment.
Groundswell’s work to give homeless people a voice has
included running Speakouts across the UK and setting up the Homeless
People’s Commission involving homeless people in national
policy issues, speaking directly to Government.
Groundswell’s research work uses participatory action research practices – involving homeless people
in all stages of the process and focusing on the change that happens as a
result of what is discovered. These techniques have been used to help local
authorities with their Homelessness Strategies, to help services develop client involvement practices and to run
their own investigations such as The
Escape Plan which identified the critical success factors that enable
people to move on from homelessness.
The Escape Plan showed that giving people an opportunity to
make a contribution is the key to moving on. Groundswell support people to use
their own experiences of homelessness to help others, improve services and
improve policy making – and by doing so to transform their own lives.
In 2012 Groundswell became a formal partner of Thames Reach
– with two Thames Reach people on their Board of Trustees the two organisations
are working closely together to develop the services we offer
You can find out more at www.groundswell.org.uk