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Staff members at Aspire Housing have been involved in this years 'Homeful' campaign, being led by the Chartered Institute of Housing's (CIH) President, Jo Richardson. 

When you hear the word homeless what do you see?
This is one of the key questions being asked by the Chartered Institute of Housing’s (CIH) President, Jo Richardson, as part of her ‘Homeful’ campaign and the Aspire CIH Club were delighted when she joined us earlier this year to explain more.

What is Homeful?
The Homeful campaign, is running throughout Jo's presidency, concluding in December 2022. It includes a sizeable co-produced action research project exploring housing-led approaches to resolve and prevent all forms of homelessness across the UK.

You may have seen Jo on social media raising awareness of homelessness and money for End Youth Homelessness with her '22 in 22' challenge. This involved her walking 600+ miles of the South West Coastal Path – well done Jo!

Inspired by Jo and fuelled with a passion for this important topic, the CIH Club were keen to get involved in contributing to the evidence base and ensuring that Newcastle-under-Lyme’s voice plays a part in shaping the national policy agenda around homelessness. The Club set up a working group to scope out and coordinate how Aspire could support and the rest is history.

What did we do? – key headlines

CIH Survey sent to involved customers
A survey was sent to around 340 of our involved customers, via email, in July. This anonymous survey was designed by the CIH to understand what ‘home’ means to them in their experience and get grass-route views on homelessness. Responses went directly back to CIH for analysis. Thank you so much to all of our involved customers who responded to the survey.

Drop-in and Virtual Workshops
On 12th July we invited colleagues from across the group to an informal, in-person drop-in where they could think deeply about homelessness and the meaning of ‘home’. It was great to see a cross-section of colleagues joining in and sharing their thoughts.


That afternoon, we invited internal colleagues and partners from the wider sector to a virtual workshop where they broke off into four breakout rooms and answered a few short questions. It was clear from the start that those involved felt passionate and wanted to make a difference. Discussions were around how we can all work together to prevent homelessness, systematic changes needed, social issues that can make homelessness worse etc. Answer sheets were forwarded anonymously to the CIH. We received some great feedback (below) and in hindsight, would have made the workshops longer as discussions were really flowing! Thank you to everyone who attended and contributed.


‘Great session with colleagues who are engaged and passionate about making a difference’

‘Been brilliant to take part, listen and learn, and also meet some new people too’

‘It was a brilliant session .. well done Aspire CIH Club... you are all brilliant’

‘It was a very enjoyable session, and it was really interesting to hear different perspectives’


Promotion of our approach
After the workshops, we shared what we had done on social media to encourage wider sector participation in the campaign.

One to one’s – people with lived experience of homelessness
Our Housing Transition Outreach Advisor arranged one-to-one interviews with individuals who had experience of homelessness/rough sleeping. This rich feedback was captured and fed back to CIH.

Internal interviews
Colleagues also liaised with one of the Homeful leads around our work on homelessness, projects we are working on and an overview of homelessness locally.

Our contribution to the research project has been a collaboration of ideas and input from across the organisation and wider sector. It started as a discussion and through the commitment of key members of a small project group, went onto raise the profile of homelessness and deliver key inputs to the research.

We look forward to reading the final research report towards the end of the year and seeing how key recommendations are put into to practice. You can find more information on the Homeful campaign here. 


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