Ginny Cooper, Change Lead at Homeless Network Scotland.
This week we welcomed 14 new members to the Change Team. As I hovered my mouse over the ‘Admit all’ button in our Teams virtual meeting I couldn’t help but feel a little apprehensive. Before everything went online, we would make people feel welcome through eye contact, body language and offering them a cup of tea. On screen it is much harder to gage how people are feeling. But, as the new faces began to pop up on my screen, smiles and awkward waves were exchanged and I knew I didn’t have anything to worry about.
All in for Change is led by a Change Team of people from across Scotland committed to ending homelessness. Every Change Lead brings unique knowledge to the team. Experts in what homelessness looks like within their networks for the people who are most affected, they bridge the gap between policy, planning and action on the ground.
The team was formed in December 2019 and had only just got established when the pandemic changed everything. After a busy 18 months the Change Team continue to play a major part in helping shape homelessness policy and practice, including the Scottish Government’s updated Ending Homelessness Together Action Plan.
The team use clear language and an open and accessible, collaborative working approach to bridge the gap between decision makers, people working in services and people making use of services, as part of a joined-up effort to end homelessness in Scotland.
As with any coproduction process, the group have embraced their different perspectives and experiences and have been ironing out the details as the programme evolves. But few could have predicted just how flexible the team would become – adapting to remote working online, taking on fast moving and rapidly evolving priorities caused by the pandemic.
Over the summer, and as part of the All in for Change (AIFC) programme, the Change Team has been talking to people from across Scotland to learn from their experiences as part of a national conversation. People who see how decisions made around homelessness look in everyday life. People who want to share how they think change can really happen. Responses will feed into a report presented to the Scottish Government.
To get involved in the national conversation simply complete an online survey here, download our starter conversation here or sign up for one of our interactive workshops, the next one is 11 August and you can sign up here.