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Relationships form the bedrock of all our lives. We are social creatures, evolving to support one another and help each other grow, with the quality of our relationships going a long way to define our overall wellbeing. This ethos lies at the heart of our new five-part podcast series, exploring how homelessness services can embrace relationship-based approaches to better support people to end their homelessness.  

We know that many people who experience homelessness have experienced significant trauma in their past, with these experiences often governing how they manage relationships in the present. Witnessing a child in a traumatic situation would make anyone feel rage and empathy on their behalf. Yet too often we don’t realise that that scared child continues to live inside many people.   

Across five episodes, with the help of expert voices, the podcasts covers a range of topics; from how early trauma can impact people’s relationships and wellbeing, to innovative ways frontline workers and services can respond. In episode 1 we explore how relationship-based approaches can help homelessness services work more effectively with people who’ve experienced trauma 

In episodes two and three Dr Nick Maguire, Associate Professor of Psychology at The University of Southampton, talks about different types of attachment and how these early experiences manifest in adult behaviours. “Learning that the world is predictable, that you will get predictable care, that someone will look after your needs as an infant is really important” he says. “When you don’t learn people are reliably there for you, you don’t learn that the world is a safe place and you don’t learn you are worth caring for.” 

Maguire goes on to put this understanding into practice. “Turning up to be rejected can be a very important process. If I say I’m going to be somewhere, I will be somewhere and if the person doesn’t come that has to be okay. I’ve done what I’ve said I’m going to do. If I keep turning up, maybe that person will think okay, they are doing what they said they would do, maybe I’ll talk to them.” 

In episode four we hear from Nikoletta Theodorou, who recently completed a PhD thesis at Herriott Watt University entitled ‘Multiple Exclusion Homelessness, attachment and relationship with care: A missing link?’. Her work focused on how people’s different attachment styles can affect access to services. 

Finally, in episode five we talk to Amanda Croome, CEO at the Booth Centre in Manchester about how their day centre aims to increase the feeling of control people have over their lives. “It’s important people feel it’s their centre, not my centre or the staff’s centre” she says. , “We find that if they feel they have some choice and the ability to influence their environment they take that experience into their everyday lives.” 

Listening to these wonderful speakers first hand was a real privilege, with each episode providing a wealth of insight which can help services understand why people behave in certain ways, as well as practical tips to work more effectively and empathetically.    

Episode list:

  • Episode 1: Introduction to positive approaches 
  • Episode 2: Building safe relationships part 1, featuring Dr Nick Maguire 
  • Episode 3: Building safe relationships part 2, featuring Dr Nick Maguire 
  • Episode 4: Understanding behaviour as a communication, featuring Nikoletta Theodorou 
  • Episode 5: Rebuilding control, featuring Amanda Croome

We would love your thoughts on the Going Beyond podcast as well as ideas for future topics, so please contact Lauren.

Please enjoy the episodes via the block below.