Quarterly Newsletter June 2021

Welcome to the Housing First Academy’s third quarterly newsletter. We have been busy with training and have  been facilitating  further Communities of Practice sessions.
You may  have noticed that our Twitter feed was taken over by Housing First England! 
If  you work in Housing First and would like to take part in the Twitter Takeover, please get in touch -   

We would like to thank you for subscribing. The Housing First Academy is very much about participation and shared learning. We really encourage you to comment on the blogs , access the resources, and look out for training courses and Communities of Practice sessions you would like to join.

Kindest regards,
The Housing First Academy Team

Visit the Communities of Practice HUB
Connecting People, Developing Best Practice

Our Services & Resources

                                  Communities of Practice HUB

Communities of Practice (CoP) HUB
During March, we hosted three Internal Communities of Practice sessions with staff from the Housing First Consortium Glasgow, Renfrewshire Housing First and  Edinburgh Housing First. Participants discussed supporting people to engage in their communities and activities. Coming out of the pandemic, there will be changes in how people can gather but there is a desire to provide as much support as possible to enable people to get involved in groups, activities, volunteering.   
Our External Communities of Practice session was with staff from three local authorities, North Ayrshire, West Lothian and Angus. Participants discussed the challenges in providing Housing First and partnership working. 
As always, the information shared and discussion provided great insights and valuable feedback. The Housing First Academy is continuing to develop processes that can make best use of the information we gather from the sessions.      

The Academy is hoping to organise further Communities of Practice sessions for  those working in Housing First. Would you and any colleagues like to participate?
Housing First is an extremely successful model of housing support but it is not without its challenges. The sessions allow participants to share ideas, practice and frustrations, with the aim of suggesting solutions and gathering information that can improve partnership working  
The valuable insights from staff are being collected and will be fed back into local areas development / stakeholder groups. The aim is to highlight good practice and provide suggestions for areas of development. Feedback will also be shared with the Housing First Hub Europe where appropriate.
Where issues cannot be resolved locally and could be defined more as a ‘system’ issue, round table discussions will be created regionally or nationally which brings together decision makes involved in overseeing relevant parts of the system where the challenges have been identified.
We are aiming to have notes of sessions placed on the Website with consideration for some of the sensitivities of the points that come up in discussion.
If you would like more information, please get in touch,
Learn more about Communities of Practice
                                                       Training Hub
Our open courses are a great opportunity not only to learn about Housing First but to connect with people from across Scotland and learn from their experiences. The Training Hub summer calendar dates are above. If you are able to join, it would be great to see you!  
Since our last Newsletter in February, the training team have provided training to 84 staff across Scotland. The sessions continue to evaluate extremely well and the learning comes not only from the trainers, but also from the other participants whose input to Housing First may be different.   
The Training Hub is also available to facilitate full courses for your organisation. 
Visit the Training Hub for more information: here

Learn more
                                                Housing First Europe Hub
The Academy has close links with colleagues in Europe and we try to ensure that learning and development is shared on our Resources page.

Recent and forthcoming events:

HF Europe Training Leads:  Discussion about Housing First and working with housing providers.
Delivering HF training to housing providers: need to manage housing providers  expectations of HF by explaining to them what is normal in HF as it can be different from what is traditionally experienced in a Housing Association. Other points raised were about  training, in Liverpool the training links to specific agreements that the HF service and the Housing Associations have.  
 Housing First England spoke about an event they had that showcased the good practice of RSLs who understood the principles etc. 
Communities of Practice Group
The Canadian Fidelity tool is about to be published, we will share this via social media and upload to the website Resources in due course. There are opportunities for more front line workers involved in Communities of Practice. We are hoping a member of staff from the Housing First Consortium Glasgow may join.

The Hub Webinars: 
Rural Housing First was discussed by participants from Scotland, Canada, England , Ireland and Wales. Similar themes emerged around the lack of resources, transport links and available housing.  The need to engage and raise awareness with the local community was highlighted as a priority.

Coming up: Advocating for Housing Led Solutions post Covid, June 22nd, FEANTSA 6th Overview of Housing Exclusion in Europe 2021:Youth in Danger.
The Housing First Europe Hub has a great blogs that are worthwhile checking out: BLOGS


We would like to thank Housing First England for being our pioneers in the Housing First Academy, Twitter Takeover!
From the 7th of May, for one week, HF England shared their social media via our Twitter feed.
As part of our Communities of Practice, we want to encourage sharing and learning from HF practice in other areas and other partners.
HF England used the opportunity to share details about the growth provision, importance of fidelity and shared their video which detailed the growth of work being carried out by St. Mungo's in London.
We think it's a great opportunity to inform others working in  Housing First about your service and work.
If you would like to discuss participating, we would love to hear from you!



Learn more about the Housing First Europe Hub

Housing First Academy Blogs

We've been so lucky to have been provided with great blogs for the Academy. Huge thanks to Alan Jones from Aberdeenshire Council , Maud Bruton of Solace  Women's Aid, Martine Whitehead from the Greater Manchester Housing First Pilot  and Alex Smith from Housing First England for providing us with such interesting pieces.

Alan wrote about providing Housing First in rural Aberdeenshire, "We have a lot of success stories and we have plans to expand the project significantly.  As well as the really good outcomes for our customers there have been significant financial savings for public services.  But the way we do things is a bit different.  We tend to work more in partnership to provide support".

Maud shared a day in the life of a Housing First Project Worker, "It is not uncommon for our clients to have periods of rough sleeping even after they have been housed – something which shocked me when I first encountered it, but which I now understand better."

Martine wrote about the experience of  running a Housing First Pilot in Greater Manchestet, with the added challenge of a pandemic, "The aim of the pilot is to test the Housing First model at scale, and given the challenges brought about by the pandemic it has been tested in ways no one could have envisaged"

Alex has written about developing housing management in Housing First  "The reality is, there can be understandable tensions between housing teams and support providers due to the fact that Housing First is a new and innovative approach which takes time to both understand and implement well" 
Read the blogs: here

If you are interested in providing a blog, we would love to hear from you!

Register to contribute

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