Homeless Network Scotland has welcomed 13 new Associates from across Scotland who will use their personal experience and insight to combat homelessness – significantly bolstering the team.
At a series of training sessions in August and September the latest additions have been getting to know their new colleagues and finding out more about their roles and the impact they could have.
New members shared their feelings about joining the team, with one stating simply: “Let’s work to end homelessness”.
Among the other messages were “I am excited to work for HNS, creating change for individuals and society. A heartfelt organisation wanting the best for all!”
Other Associates told of their hope that they would be “involved in making homelessness a less traumatic, frustrating experience” and being able to “push for change”.
Homeless Network Scotland’s Associate programme provides a platform for people whose life and professional experiences give them invaluable on-the-ground knowledge of homelessness.
The paid team members get a chance to learn more about and influence policies and practices, connect with politicians, policy and decision makers, and act to achieve change.
Associates are perfectly placed to find better solutions and highlight what is working and is not, while using their role to build a network of contacts and gain valuable new skills and knowledge.
All in for Change is an informal and inclusive umbrella group that brings people together to help end homelessness by gathering and sharing information as well as hosting events and roadshows.
The programme is built on four directions – taking a people-centred approach, ending siloed services, pushing for rapid access to good housing, and fostering a positive, compassionate outlook.
Change Team members have personal or frontline experience of homelessness and provide briefings covering priority areas such as health and wellbeing and poverty and social justice. The team is represented on the Scottish Government Homelessness Prevention Strategy Group (HPSG).
GHIFT members who have experienced homelessness lead on changes taking place across services across Glasgow. Members host meetings, events and workshops for people with current or recent experience of homelessness and work with decision makers to ensure their voices are represented.
“We are delighted to welcome 13 more Associates to Homeless Network Scotland and can already see how their diverse experiences and insights will build on the positive influence the team wields.
Associates have the opportunity to speak truth to power as a critical friend to policymakers and to help anyone experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Their collective, expert voice guides everyone working towards the achievable goal of preventing and ending homelessness in Scotland.”David Ramsay, Impact Lead