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2023 Award Winners

Excellence in supported housing - The Marylebone Project

The Marylebone Project provides a life-changing service for vulnerable homeless women in crisis and is the largest and longest-running centre of its kind in the UK. In 2020/21 it successfully settled 95 women into independent accommodation.

The organisation was commended for the sense of safety that it provides as a women-only space and trauma-informed practice, its high-quality modern accommodation provision and its strong values and inclusive practice.

Excellence in support and navigation - Exeter Navigator Team

The Navigators are a multi-disciplinary team that provide a person-centred, trauma-informed service offer to individuals experiencing severe and multiple disadvantage. Support is non-conditional and long term and aligned with the individual’s own recovery journey.

The organisation was commended for its trauma-informed and inclusive approach, its preparedness to offer flexible support pathways and its strong multiagency working.

Best health and wellbeing initiative - Providence Row

Providence Row works with homeless and vulnerably housed people in East London. Its Tower Hamlets Health and Wellness Fairs project is an innovative, holistic way of supporting clients who would not normally access mainstream health provision. It delivered four Health Fairs (June ‘22 - March ‘23) attended by 285 people, with 72% accessing health provision on the day.

The judges commended the service for its inclusivity - considering marginalised members of the community such as non-binary people, who would be less likely to access a mainstream service. They were also praised for punching above their weight as a small organisation.

Outstanding achievement in outreach and rough sleeper provision - Porchlight

Porchlight is Kent’s leading homelessness charity with 50 years’ experience providing innovative and inclusive support. It is building capacity locally and nationally to identify and support rough sleepers who are victims of modern slavery and transform existing approaches. Frontline staff also receive specialist women’s needs training to support specific gendered experiences.

Porchlight was recognised for its deep understanding of the need to outreach differently for different individuals and for meeting the specific need of support for victims of modern slavery.

Social enterprise of the year - Emmaus Hertfordshire

Emmaus Hertfordshire supports up to 36 people experiencing homelessness by giving them a home, meaningful work in a social enterprise and an opportunity to regain lost self-esteem to help rebuild their lives. Its residents help to run ‘Out of the Emmaus Workshop’, which restores, upscales and sells furniture.

The organisation was commended for its focus on meaningful employment and skilled trade, which has the potential to lead to people securing jobs in many industries.

2022 Award Winners

In 2022, we were back in person to announce the award winners to a packed audience at the Working Well conference.

Home Safe - Oasis Community Housing

The judging panel awarded Oasis Community Housing for their ‘Basis Beds’ project which provides people with multiple-complex needs the opportunity to have a home of their own.

Basis Beds houses individuals, as well as couples, who may otherwise struggle to access housing using surplus local authority housing stock, which is refurbished. Oasis Community Housing use housing benefits pay for the property, while statutory funding or wider fundraising pays for the support element making the project replicable where housing stock is available and funding for support can be found. Support is flexible and co-designed helping individuals settle into their new home and develop skills.

People First – Adullam Homes Housing Association

The Judging panel awarded Adullam Homes Housing Association for their impressive co-produced approach, priorities and targets. Embedded in behaviours and cultures their worked centred the voices of lived experience and diversity of service user group.

In August 2021, Adullam’s Sheffield Foundations project, a mental health assertive prevention support service, created a Co-production Group. Team members collected ideas from everyone about what they wanted the service to provide in the way of training, activities, and any other ideas they had about what they wanted to get involved in and what they would like to lead on. In the weeks that followed a range of activities were tried and sessions covering different topics run, some of them delivered by service users around themes and subjects that affect them. One service user told how her confidence has grown and her life has been changed for the better as a result of being involved in co-production with Adullam.

Prevention into Action – St Martins (Rebuild Project)

Since its inception Rebuild has worked with many individuals that are stuck in a cycle of repeat offending, imprisonment and homelessness. The judging panel felt that Rebuilds work replicable and powerful in terms of preventing a revolving door, offering ‘great lessons to be shared’. 

One case in particular involved an individual that had been in prison for so long that he said it felt like his ‘safe place’. When this person started working with Rebuild, he was accommodated within an approved probation hostel with no options for his discharge and was due to be homeless at the end of his stay. He was so frightened by the thought of being unsafe on the streets that he had planned to commit another offence to get back to a place where he felt that he didn’t need to feel scared. After working with Rebuild to address his situation, the client was offered accommodation within a setting where he would usually have been excluded and he was only offered this placement because of the ground-breaking support that Rebuild had provided. Despite concerns over the longevity of this placement due to the individual’s history, because he had given the support and opportunity he needed to turn his life around in a stable and safe setting, he excelled. The client continued to engage with Rebuild to further address his situation and after settling into his accommodation he said to his support worker that this is the first time since being released that I have not wanted to go back to prison.

A Stronger Voice – Fulfilling Lives (FLIC), SHP

The judging panel awarded FLIC the award for their joint research work  with the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York, to design and deliver the largest scale research study into women’s homelessness in England. Work the judge’s felt ‘shined a light’ on women’s homelessness and had already had national impact.

FLIC’s aim was to evidence  how women’s homelessness has been misunderstood and under-represented, and that this needs to change to reach and support women in London and across the UK.  The aim was to draw on both existing and unexplored data sources across multiple sectors to gain a better understanding of women’s homelessness, enhance understanding of women’s lived experiences of homelessness, and to use the analysis to make the case for an integrated cross sector pathway as a solution for women’s homelessness, which was not solely reliant on existing methods such as street counts and homeless drop ins, which oversample men.

The findings were that women are present in the homeless population, in much greater numbers than is generally assumed, and the widespread assumption that lone adult homelessness is predominantly male is almost certainly false. Spatial, methodological and administrative error in how homelessness is defined and counted has resulted in a failure to recognise, count and respond to women’s homelessness effectively.

2021 Award Winners

In 2021 four categories were available for members to apply to reflecting our new strategy which launched in 2021.

Home Safe - Bournemouth Churches Housing Association (BCHA)

The judging panel awarded BCHA the ‘Home Safe’ award for its work in developing Clock House, a purpose built housing block which provides accommodation to 15 people who formerly slept rough.

The 15 individuals in question were initially housed through the Government’s Everyone In pandemic response. To make sure they didn’t return to sleeping rough, BCHA developed Clock House where each tenant has their own secure flat within the building, as well as co-creating communal spaces with the tenants. The project harnesses BCHA’s ethos of empowering people to make choices and be in control of their lives as well as building up people’s mental and physical health to help them achieve their aspirations.  

People First - Basis Yorkshire

The Judging panel awarded Basis Yorkshire the ‘People First’ award ahead of 52 other entries for its work in supporting women experiencing homelessness, with a particular focus on women involved in sex work. They were particularly impressed with Basis Yorkshire’s commitment to giving the women who access their service a meaningful say in how it is run, as well as conducting joint drop-in sessions within community settings with Leeds Council to break down barriers to accessing support and its Housing First project which gives women experiencing homelessness unconditional housing and intensive support to maintain it.  

Prevention into Action - P3 Charity

The judging panel awarded P3 Charity the ‘Prevention into Action’ award for its Hospital Discharge Service based in Penn and New Cross Hospitals in the West Midlands. The service works with patients who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, providing support to prevent people from being discharged into unsuitable accommodation or homelessness, while working to improve their health and wellbeing with the aim of reducing hospital re-admissions.  

In the calendar year of 2020, working alongside the NHS, P3 Charity supported 250 people to build a life away from rough sleeping, with none of the people supported being re-admitted to hospital within 28 days.  

Stronger Voice - Oxford Lived Experience Advisory Forum (LEAF)

The judging panel awarded LEAF the ‘Stronger Voice’ award for its work in amplifying the experiences and opinions of people with a lived experience of homelessness in Oxford.  
Set up in 2019 with no initial funding, LEAF is led by people who have lived experience of homelessness with the aim of making sure their experiences influence the way homelessness services are run in the area. The judging panel were particularly impressed by LEAF’s commitment to empowering people experiencing homelessness and using these experiences to challenge local systems.  

2020 winners

In 2020, we recognised the contributions services made during the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020 six categories were available for members to apply to reflecting our previous strategy.

The Jacqui McCluskey communicating for change award - akt

Promoting partnerships and collaborative working award - Cornwall Housing Ltd

Excellence in supporting people award - The Magpie Project

Social enterprise of the year award - Handcrafted Projects

Excellence in co-production award - Shelter

Innovation in housing award - Stonewater

Stonewater is a social housing provider, with a mission to deliver good quality, affordable homes to people who need them most. They won for the extension of their specialist domestic abuse services, which include supported housing for South Asian women and children and women with complex needs, a community outreach support programme and an LGBTQ+ safe space. During the pandemic, Stonewater provided new families with a safe space to live and person-centred support, using vacant properties from their general needs housing stock. They secured funding to furnish the homes and to provide the technology to offer clients virtual support from their domestic abuse coaches.