Supporting a volunteer programme to improve the health of UK homeless

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  • September 23, 2017

The Halcrow Foundation is funding a London charity’s volunteer support programme, helping more homeless people access healthcare.

Homeless charity Groundswell runs the Progression Programme, which supports volunteers who use their own experience of homelessness to help others still living on the streets. Research shows that 80 percent of homeless people have unmet mental health needs and 70 percent have physical health issues. The Progression Programme volunteers deliver Groundswell’s homeless health service, which gives people without a home confidence in using health services and helps them access healthcare independently. In this way, the volunteers are making a positive contribution to society while being supported to overcome personal, legal and social barriers, and move forward with their lives.

Adam Farrow Marshall, Progression Manager at Groundswell said, Thanks to the Halcrow Foundation’s generous funding Groundswell will be able to increase the support we offer peers as they move on from volunteering and make steps towards independence. Together with match funding from the Legal Education Foundation we have employed a Progression Advisor who will provide essential 1:1 support as peers gain skills, experience and knowledge”. 

The Progression Programme itself offers cohesive training, support and coaching. It focuses on the individual’s strengths to develop their self-esteem, learn new skills and gain a sense of inclusion. Ultimately the programme supports the volunteers to find and maintain employment and independent living. In 2016, Groundswell supported 57 volunteers, with 28 moving on to training, employment or further volunteering, and 15 gaining paid employment.


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