SPEAR understands that everyone is individual and has different needs.
We make every effort to provide a person centred approach to help clients achieve their goals so that they can live an independent, fulfilling life.
Keyworkers complete Skills Audits with their clients and these are passed to the Skills Development team. We then create bespoke development plans which may include access to training and college courses, financial support around appropriate work clothing or equipment etc.
The Skills Development Officer links clients in with the various sessions run across SPEAR, including IT tuition and support with literacy and numeracy. SPEAR also holds classes for clients such as Art Club, Book Club, Chess Club, a cookery course; Cook 4 Life and a Cycle Maintenance course.
We know that increased self esteem comes with small steps of change and that all these steps make the difference to maintain a home and breaking the cycle of homelessness.
Some Highlights from our Skills and Development
- Launch of our Women’s Groups – activities include self defence, self-esteem, health and hygiene, mindfulness class. Presentations from external organisations such as Rape Crisis Charity, LEAH (Learn English At Home) and LiveWell from the NHS.
- Launch of our digital media course funded by Community Learning.
- IT Training, English and Numeracy training have been very effective with retired volunteer teachers supporting SPEAR and partnerships with LEAH and ESOL. In addition, volunteers offering language support and dyslexic support to help our clients.
- AQA Accredited training and NVQ’s and CSCS (Construction Safety Certificates). Qualifications gained in areas such as budgeting, opening and understanding how bank accounts work, benefits, cooking, health, construction and food hygiene.
- Driving theory tests and CSCS (health and safety on a building site) amongst others.
- NVQ’s in brick-laying and plumbing courses. Our Cycle Maintenance course continues to grow from strength to strength, sometimes leading on to a CYTECH course. Each course is two months long with two clients a session.
- Cook 4 Life, Gardening Project and Art Classes continue to run at Penny Wade House.
- Princes Trust 12 week programme being utilised and Positive 4U including NEETS (neither in employment or education)
- Volunteering placements have included charity shops, fundraising, Richmond Boatyard, publishing companies, Kingstonian Football Club and Greenwood Centre with adults with learning disabilities.
- CV work, pre-employment and Job Club continues to be successful.
- Employment opportunities include street-cleaners, labourers, construction workers, drivers mates and kitchen porter.
Further development of our Skills and Development Programme
Through developing our Skills and Development Programme, SPEAR are keen to further help develop our service to clients and also, consider how we collect and count our outcomes. We made the following additions;
- We are further developing our ‘Confidence Building’ programmes. We have started a Women’s programme for women only as we recognise that some women prefer female only environments, especially when they have experience trauma such as domestic abuse.
- We have introduced a ‘Next Steps’ Programme where we have identified the different areas of ‘Confidence Building’ clients can engage in from social, leisure, health & wellbeing.
- We want to increase the number clients participating in formal volunteering placements. With the support of our part-time Volunteers Officer at SPEAR, we are working hard to seek suitable internal and external volunteer placements for our clients.
In addition, over 100 SPEAR clients engaged in Skills Development activities, doubling from he previous year and with over 25% of those clients gaining employment. Our Skills and Development programme allows ex homeless people to build up their confidence and to learn new skills such as IT literacy, CV writing and support through the interview stage and is critical to their journey to independence.
A client of ours had this to say about his experience: “I realised that I was capable of achieving great things…I have in the last year learned how to live with myself and accept the past that was my life for what it was and move on; none of this I could have done alone…I have no hesitation in saying that if it wasn’t for SPEAR I would not be alive.”
People shouldn’t die because they don’t have a home. It is the generosity of our supporters that enables us to continue our vital work. THANK YOU.