Homelessness charity SPEAR has been awarded a grant from Postcode Community Trust to help people experiencing homelessness to improve their health.
The grant will help fund the charity’s Peer Mentoring and Service User Involvement programme. The programme will train a team of people experiencing homelessness to gain new skills, become qualified peer mentors and volunteer in SPEAR’s services. They, in turn, will support other homeless people to improve their wellbeing and take part in activities in the community.
The project will build the skills, confidence and self-esteem of beneficiaries, which will stay with them for life. Peer mentors will gain work experience and new skills, improving their chances of securing future paid employment and secure housing.
The service was introduced in 2017 to support rising numbers of homeless people with poor health, low skills and a lack of confidence. Since then, 18 people have become qualified peer mentors and around 150 people have benefitted from their support. One of the graduates told SPEAR the project ‘saved my life’.
Peer Mentor Worker, Karen Shead, said:
We are extremely grateful to the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery for helping to support people experiencing homelessness in the local community. SPEAR’s Peer Mentoring programme offers a wonderful opportunity for people to improve their health and wellbeing. Watching the peer mentor trainees grow is an amazing process. I’m proud of what I do. It’s like magic.