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    Ensuring that stakeholders buy in to, and fully understand Housing First, is vital.
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Housing First Wales Animation

Alex Osmond, Housing First Policy and Practice Coordinator, writes about our excitement at unveiling a new multimedia resource for explaining 

As we continue to develop the Housing First section of the Cymorth website, I’m proud to present to our readers the Introduction to Housing First animation we’ve been working on with Cardiff and London based communications company Working Word.

This is now available to watch below, or on our YouTube channel, in both English and Welsh.

We wanted to create a multimedia resource that was specifically about Housing First and how it works in Wales, building on the development of principles with our context in mind. I’d heard stories of how Welsh Housing First providers were using training materials from America and other parts of the world to explain to people what the Housing First model involves. While the resources developed internationally are often high quality and provide information that is accessible and clear, they’re not tailored to specific audiences. Readers can probably imagine that hearing an American accent describing a model we’re taking forward apace in our corner of the UK is a little jarring!

Other than the obvious and expected difference in accents, Housing First in Wales operates in a specific context. We have made great strides in terms of working according to the psychologically-informed model, as well as a strengths-based, aspirational one. The way our housing system works means we need to ensure housing and support are separated. Similarly, Housing First in Wales is designed to work with a group of people who have become particularly entrenched and failed by the ‘staircase’ model.  In Wales we’ve also needed to consider small towns and rural areas with less dense populations.

Ensuring that stakeholders buy in to, and fully understand Housing First, is vital. This means staff at housing associations, from strategic level to front-line; mental health teams that work with clients in HF projects; probation officers; council colleagues, and many others. In other words, everyone involved in Housing First, however tangentially, needs to understand how it works, and crucially, why it needs to work that way to be effective. A key lesson for me from the accreditation process is that the more stakeholders are ‘bought in’ to Housing First, the more effective it will be for clients.

We believe the animation, scripted by Cymorth Cymru with the help of the Housing First Network in Wales, and created by Working Word, does the job. It’s clear, simple, and effectively outlines how Housing First works in Wales.  There is much more to be said about Housing First, and the Housing First Network, alongside Cymorth Cymru and all of our wonderful member organisations. However, for now, this is a fantastic introduction.

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© Cymorth Cymru 2020
Company Registration No: 5093332
Charity No: 1116774