Homeless people across Great Britain helped thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery

Vital coaching services delivered by national homelessness charity Crisis have received a welcome boost of £1,042,729 from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

The money raised by players of November’s draw will enable Crisis to support 700 homeless people with complex needs to access the charity’s housing, employment and progression coaches across 11 Skylight centres in England, Scotland and Wales.

Through this partnership, Crisis will also develop a pilot project to support migrant homeless people into employment as well as providing training and education on shifting the perception of homelessness.

Last year, Crisis supported more than 10,000 homeless and vulnerable people across Great Britain. 1,432 people gained qualifications with more than 550 moving onto external education. Crisis also helped 832 people to find housing, prevented 614 people from becoming homeless and supported 784 people into work.

The charity’s one-to-one coaching model enables people to recognise and set meaningful goals, develop the skills they need to improve aspects of their lives which are important to them. It has a powerful part to play by exploring barriers, choices and the impact of past influences on decision making. Form this coaches support people to develop strategies which enable and sustain positive change.

Viki has worked with coaches in the Edinburgh Skylight to move on with her life. She struggled with addiction issues for many years which led to homelessness.

She said: “I like that Crisis offers diverse and more unusual courses, as well as the more standard literacy/numeracy and IT based ones. I did several courses and gained qualifications and skills which taught me a lot about myself and how I could fit back in to society following my struggles. They helped me with CV writing, application forms and interview techniques too. And I gained confidence in social settings through going to events to receive my certificates.

“I am now happy in my tenancy and have been drug free for some time. Crisis coaches have stayed in touch with me regularly, after I eventually secured a tenancy and started to apply for work.

“I am also in a job I love and my life has been transformed. A lot of people don’t have the strength and support to face this alone. I feel very lucky. Many people are still facing challenges like I had every day.”

James Gilfillan, smart skills tutor at Crisis Skylight Edinburgh, said: “My role involves working with people on their personal development. This includes setting goals, then offering one-to-one support with education, confidence-building and self-esteem to help people achieve these.

“I first met Viki when she was doing classes and SQA qualifications at Crisis. Ultimately her goal was to get back into employment. I’ve seen her confidence grow through taking part in classes and volunteering here, and now she’s secured her own tenancy and a job at a homeless agency. The combination of all these things has offered her structure and helped her start looking ahead.”

Richard Lee, director of fundraising at Crisis, said: “We are so thankful to the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery for their support.

“Homelessness is not inevitable and this vital funding will allow us to work with some of the most disadvantaged people in society to help them move on with their lives.”

Hazel Johnstone, from the charities team at People’s Postcode Lottery, welcomed the partnership. She said: “It’s fantastic that the players of People’s Postcode Lottery are now supporting Crisis to help more people out of homelessness.

“It was great for members of the team to visit the Edinburgh Skylight to hear how coaching in particular helps people to move on with their lives and we are delighted that this partnership will see people with more complex needs access these invaluable services.”

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