A coalition of organisations including the Everyone Home collective has urged the Scottish Government to use the budget to address a growing housing and homelessness emergency.
Forty organisations wrote an open letter to Finance Secretary Shona Robison calling for urgent support to address an “escalating homelessness crisis”.
They warn that although the Scottish Government has made strong commitments to ending homelessness over the past few years, growing demand and limited resourcing has left local authorities unable to cope.
All in For Change members with personal and professional experience of homelessness have been talking about their work on the team and explaining the benefits a co-production ethos brings to the table.
The Change Team works with decision makers to develop homelessness policy and has had a significant influence in areas including development of the new prevention duties proposed for public bodies and policies around Rapid Rehousing.
Change Lead Suzie McIlloney, Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan Officer at South Ayrshire Council, talks about the positive experiences and range of different work she has been involved in during her time on the Team.
I got involved with the Change Team because I see the value in coming together, listening and driving forward real change.
Before coming to South Ayrshire Council, I supported people who were experiencing homelessness.
I am extremely lucky to be involved with a team of people who are passionate and who really care about what they do.
As a team, we come together as equals, we learn from each other, we have built relationships, we support each and deliver on what is needed to change.
What surprised me most is the range of opportunities we are involved in. I have participated in the Prevention Duties Task and Finish group, attended focus groups, I have spoken at conferences – this is just a snapshot.
Bringing policymaking and people with experience of homelessness together just makes sense. You need to have that know-how if you want to make changes for the people it affects. This is what co-production is all about.
⏩The Change team’s successes and future priorities are set out in this evaluation of the programme’s first 3 years.
Since 2019 the All In For Change team has been using its wide-ranging expertise to help achieve objectives set out in the Scottish Government-COSLA Ending Homelessness Together Action Plan.
The team works with decision makers in local and national government to develop policy, and one of its biggest successes to date has been developing prevention duties proposed for public bodies, intended to be written into law in the forthcoming Housing Bill.
Key aims of the programme, facilitated by Homeless Network Scotland, Cyrenians and Scottish Community Development Centre, are bringing about co-ordinated working between different services and ensuring support services take a person-centred approach. The team also facilitates roadshows to take the temperature of how things are working around the country.
To mark Scottish Co-Production Network’s #CoProWeekScot, Change Leads have been sharing their experiences of working as part of #AllInForChange. Below we hear from David Pentland, on the team since the very start, and new Change Lead Lisa.
David Pentland, Change Lead since 2019
When I joined the Change Team – an eclectic mix of lived experience, frontline workers and senior council staff – it was my first visit to the policy arena and the workings of Scottish Government.
One of the first pieces of work after I joined in December 2019 was the Prevention Commission, a subgroup of the Change Team that fed directly into the Prevention Review Group facilitated by Claire and David from Homeless Network Scotland.
They really broke down the ask of the Prevention Review Group well and supported us over many months to formulate a piece of ideal legislation that was reflective of what we thought needed to change in homelessness.
Although I couldn’t make every meeting as I was working, I did however always feel completely up to date and ready to participate with the updates provided.
To then watch our concept of prevention duties, placing a legal duty on statutory/public bodies to “Ask and Act” regarding people’s housing stability being drafted into legislation, was special.
In the main Change Team, we did a lot of work with Beth from Heriot-Watt University’s I-SPHERE institute, looking at research models and a lot of the work the institute had been commissioned to do historically. I really enjoyed drinking in the information, and I became really interested in policy and legislation.
The Change Team has evolved since launch and was inhibited during the lockdown restrictions. It was however exciting to come out of lockdown and start work on the roadshows.
We planned and carried out roadshows in five areas of Scotland – it was exciting to see what the reality was on the ground and how central government initiatives had improved the lives of people experiencing homelessness.
Being part of the Change Team has been a worthwhile endeavour and I would like to think it has brought policy and legislation closer to the people experiencing homelessness.
‘It is liberating experiencing co-production’
Lisa, new Change Lead
To be part of All In For Change inspires me as it consists of a full circle of members, from those with professional status to people who have used services. Experiencing both sides brings passion to support evolving positive change.
It is liberating experiencing co-production as power in numbers creates a wider strength for our cause. Different personal experiences and outlooks on what is needed, once brainstormed and navigated, creates a need and ideas for change.
The value of co-production being brought to homelessness policy making is togetherness, a cohesive community, creating a positive support bubble – ‘ALL IN FOR CHANGE’.
⏩The Change team’s successes and future priorities are set out in this evaluation of the programme’s first 3 years
All In For Change provides a platform for people with experience of homelessness and frontline staff to connect with decision makers and contribute to the development and implementation of homelessness policy.
To mark Scottish Co-Production Week, Louise Thompson from the Scottish Government’s Homelessness Unit shares her experiences of working with the Change Team in areas including the new prevention duties – driven by a sense of purpose, collaboration and plenty of laughter.
The Change Team contribute to the development and implementation of policy by ensuring our policies are informed by the lived experience of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
There are many examples where the Change Team have contributed to Scottish Government policy on homelessness.
One which is current and ongoing is their contribution to the development of new prevention duties which are intended to be introduced in the Housing Bill.
Change Leads co-designed the questions on lived experience with colleagues from the Homelessness Unit for the prevention duties consultation.
Change Leads will be an important partner in ensuring the Scottish Government get this legislation right, including through their involvement in developing guidance to reflect the needs of people experiencing homelessness in a practical and meaningful way.
“As civil servants, myself and colleagues in the Homelessness Unit work hard to make changes and develop policies to help people, but we can make better policy with people. This is why the Change Team, and the experience they bring, is so important and why I consider myself lucky that I get to work with them.“
Louise Thompson, Scottish Government Homelessness Unit
Recently the Change Team has been further strengthened by the addition of new paid Homeless Network Scotland Associates. The new recruits are already bringing their experiences to our work around the prevention duties and sharing their insights into what is working and what could be better in services, from adopting more person-centred and joined-up approaches to reducing stigma.
Looking ahead, I am excited about there being another ‘taking the temperature’ tour where the Change Team travel across Scotland to hear the views of people with experience of homelessness and who work in homelessness.
Offering opportunities for people to participate from different parts of the country, including rural and island communities as well as under-represented groups, is important in gathering evidence.
As civil servants, myself and colleagues in the Homelessness Unit work hard to make changes and develop policies to help people, but we can make better policy with people. This is why the Change Team, and the experience they bring, is so important and why I consider myself lucky that I get to work with them.
⏩The All In For Change team’s successes and future priorities are set out in this evaluation of the programme’s first three years
Co-production Week is the perfect opportunity to talk about the impact of All in For Change, the collective set up to challenge the systems around homelessness and give a platform to people with personal and professional experience of homelessness.
People with experience of homelessness, policy experts, decision makers and frontline workers are united in the Change Team. Their knowledge of systems, services and on-the-ground reality – and their connection via the team – are key to making people’s lives better and building momentum to end homelessness.
To celebrate Scottish Co-Production Network’s #CoProWeekScot, Change Leads have shared their experiences of being a part of #AllInForChange. Today we hear from Homeless Network Scotland Associate Mark Cairney, recently recruited as a Change Lead.
This brilliant opportunity to be a Change Lead with lived experience has enabled me to develop my understanding and application of co-production in a solution-focused team.
As a new Change Lead, I can challenge directly the problem of homelessness via co-production at a national, local and programme level.
I joined All In For Change to connect with different stakeholders across the homeless landscape, researching their views and experiences to discover what impact current policy has on them.
This means scrutinising policy through evidence of what is happening in people’s lives, workplaces and communities – their own places and spaces. I see this connection as a renewal of homeless policy and planning, and creating a new evidence infrastructure of how we measure progress and impact.
I am particularly interested in embracing the lived experience of minoritised ethnic people, as our evidence base becomes more diverse and our connections become more human.
A significant success of the Change Team is using co-production to connect people, develop new partnerships and relationships. I am excited to be part of a team that will re-evaluate how we measure impact and generate new knowledge through our roadshows.
I want to be part of how we adapt our Change programmes, produce more transparent learning outcomes and promote bolder preventative Best Practice. Co-production can bridge the gap between policy and practice and help find person-centred solutions driven by lived experience.
I want to fully participate and enjoy being in a Change Team that continues to bring authentic, valued voices of lived experience and frontline work to policy making. We can shift the balance of power through collective ways of knowing and doing to end homelessness.
⏩The All In For Change team’s successes and future priorities are set out in this evaluation of the programme’s first three years.