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    Volunteer-led services provide unique benefits for the individuals being supported

Citadel project - Housing Justice Cymru

By Tom Nevitt, Communications and Marketing Manager, Housing Justice

Housing Justice Cymru are a national homelessness charity and our mission is to mobilise Christian action on homelessness and housing need. We run a number of projects, such as our Faith in Affordable Housing project, which facilitates the delivery of affordable homes through sales of redundant Church land and buildings. And, until now, we’ve also run winter night shelters, to accommodate people who would otherwise be sleeping on the streets. 

Due to the changes in Welsh Government policy because of Covid, we are pleased to see a commitment from Local Authorities to provide emergency accommodation, which will ensure people have access to their own room, 24 hours a day, with washing facilities, accompanied by ‘Phase 2’ – a plan for housing everyone who has been provided with emergency accommodation during the pandemic.

This has given us an exciting opportunity, knowing that the offer of emergency accommodation is better in quality, quantity and availability, has meant we’re able to move our resources upstream, focusing on preventing homelessness.

Consequently we’ve developed Citadel, which focuses on helping individuals who are at risk of homelessness, to set up and sustain their tenancies. We know that setting up a new home can be challenging, especially in an unfamiliar community and without a support network; 82% of the people we support said they wanted further support when starting a new tenancy. Citadel trains volunteers to provide tailored support to individuals, either with practical support such as registering with a GP, accessing the food bank or setting up their home, or emotional support such as connecting people to their community, providing on-going support or helping people to work towards their goals, whether it’s employment, building confidence and resilience or finding hobbies.

Due to the rehousing efforts underway as part of Phase 2, there are a significant number of people who need the type of support that Citadel provides. We’re currently running Citadel in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot, with support from the Local Authorities, partner organisations and our 400 volunteers. We’ve recently received funding for an independent evaluation, which will take place in early 2021. We’re really optimistic about the benefits this service will make to people with low level support needs, who may not otherwise receive support – or for those already receiving services but need additional support. We know volunteer led services provide unique benefits for the individuals being supported, especially when the volunteers are from the local area, increasing genuine connection to the community.

For more information on Citadel, please visit

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© Cymorth Cymru 2021
Company Registration No: 5093332
Charity No: 1116774